Pot au feu (A very comforting meat stew)

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This is a very comforting dish that is quintessentially French.  A dish that is not just tasty but also very easy to prepare.  It is not a surprise that this dish is famous among French families.

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KITCHEN KIT:
A large casserole pan with a lid/cover and a medium size sauce pan with a lid

Ingredients Serves 6:
 
The Meat:
1.  330g ham hock (that has been soaked in cold water overnight in the fridge)
2.  150g flank of beef , sliced into 3
3.  100g smoked bacon rashers, sliced into approx.1 inch’ in length
4.  100g good quality sausage
5.  200g bone marrow
6.  1.5 litres of water
7.  2 pinches of salt

The Vegetables: 
8.  6 black peppercorns
9.  Bouquet garni ( 3 bay leaves, 5 parlsey, 3 sprigs of dried thyme all tied together)
10. 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
11. 1 medium size savoy cabbage, sliced into large chunks  3 wedges
12. 2 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
13. 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds
14. 1 large turnip, peeled and halved
15. 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
16. A bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped  (for garnish)
     
The Meat:
1.  In a large casserole pan add all the meat ingredients except for the sausage and bone marrow.
2.  Pour 1.5 litres of cold water into the pan, add salt, cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
3.  Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and allow the simmering for 3 minutes whilst removing impurities that rise up into the surface. (best not to remove all the fat that comes out of the meat as it does add flavour to the dish)
4.  Next, add the bouquet garni, garlic and peppercorns. Cover the casserole pan with a lid leaving a small gap slightly open to allow the steam to come out.  Continue to cook gently over low heat for 1 and ½ hours.
5.  After 1 and ½ hours add the bone marrow and the sausage.

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The Vegetables: 
6.  Meanwhile in a separate medium size pan, bring water to a boil and blanch the savoy cabbages for 3 minutes.  Drain the cabbages and add these into the meat casserole pan.
7.  Add all the other vegetables listed above into the meat casserole pan. Continue to cook gently for 45 minutes.
8.  Finally add some chopped parsley, serve the meat and vegetables on a large plate and serve the consommé separately on individual bowls.

Serve with warm freshly baked bread, dijon mustard and cornichons.

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