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A Vinaigrette of Beef
by
Allegra Beati


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Original Recipe

Again, a Vinaigrette:

(From Chiquart's 'On Cookery')
To instruct the person who will be making the Vinaigrette, he should get pork livers and wash them, then put them on the grill over fine glowing coals until they are cooked enough; when they are done, put them on good work-tables and slice them up to the size of small dice; then get a lot of onions, peel, wash and slice them very small, and brown all that together in good fine lard.  To make the Vinaigrette, he should get very good claret wine, the best he can obtain, enough for the amount of the pottage, and add to it whatever beef or mutton bouillon is necessary; then he should get some good white bread and cut it into good slices and put it to toast on the grill until it is quite brownish, then set it to soak in that wine and bouillon.  When it has soaked, get spices:  white ginger, grains of paradise, pepper-and not to much-a lot of cinnamon in the necessary amount, and salt, too; then pass all of that neatly and properly through the strainer, and set it to boil; when it has boiled, dump the fried meat into it.  Then serve it up when it is time to.

If it should not be the time of year when pork livers are available, get good loins of beef and legs of mutton, and wash them mount them on the spit and roast them thoroughly; when they have roasted, take them down onto good clean wooden tables, then cut them up to the size of small dice as was said above for the pork liver; and onions too, as was said above, and brown everything together; when it is done enough, put it into the pottage which was outlined above.


Redaction

Ingredients:

2 lbs. Beef roast (we used beef chuck cross rib boneless roasts)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups sliced onions
2 tablespoons lard
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cup beef broth
2 slices, bread, toasted
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground grains of paradise
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
Salt, to taste

Preparation Steps

    Preheat a charcoal or gas grill.  Season the beef on both sides with salt and pepper, and grill approximately 10-15 minutes on each side.  Remove and cut into cubes.

    Soak the two slices of toasted bread in the wine and broth, until largely dissolved.  Strain into a saucepan, and add the ginger, grains of paradise, pepper, and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer.

    Meanwhile, melt the lard in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, and cook, stirring frequently, until they are wilted and starting to brown.  Add the beef, and continue to cook, stirring frequently.

    Pour the wine and broth mixture over the beef and onions, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until well blended and the broth begins to thicken.
     

Number of Servings

4-6 servings.

References

  • Chiquart's 'On Cookery,' a Fifteenth-century Savoyard Culinary Treatise, edited and translated by Terence Scully (Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York, 1986)


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