- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck or sirloin
- Sprigs of fresh thyme & parsley
- 2 oxtails, about 3-4 in. diameter
- 1 large onion, cut in half, skin on
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 4 ribs celery, cut into halves
- 3 quarts veal stock or cold water (12 cups)
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large sections
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 12 mushrooms, halved
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 3 large leeks, well washed
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 turnips, scrubbed & quartered
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 12 baby potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 Tbs Kosher salt
- 4 bay leaves
- Cheesecloth for bundling & straining
Let the meats come up to approximate room temperature. Season the meats with salt and pepper.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil until barely smoking. Sear the beef, browning well on all sides. Similarly sear the oxtails.
Bundle the cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme & parsley in cheesecloth & tie. Put the meats all together with the onion halves & the aromatic bundle in a large stockpot (at least 10 quarts). (See below for leek tops). Cover with the veal stock (or water) & wine. Add salt. Bring up just to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat and maintain at a very gentle simmer, uncovered, occasionally skimming impurities off the top as they rise, for 3 hours. Add hot water if needed to keep the meats continually covered in liquid. The secret to a clear broth is skimming and not letting the pot boil.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Trim the green leek tops off, leaving just a hint of green at the top of the white part. Trim off the root bases. Make sure that there is no grit within the leek. The green tops can go into the stockpot for flavor. After the first 3 hours of simmering, add all of the vegetables. Continue to cook another hour or so until the meat is very tender and the vegetables are cooked.
Carefully remove the vegetables and pour the broth from the meat. Set vegetables and meat aside in the oven (to keep warm).
Strain the broth through the cheesecloth into a saucepan, then simmer further, continuing to skim and degrease, until reduced and concentrated.
Ladle the clear broth into bowls as a first course, then serve the meat with the vegetables as a second course. Traditionally, there would be condiments of coarse sea salt, cornichons, Dijon & whole grain mustard, and freshly chopped parsley for garnish accompaniments on the table.