- Place the beef in a flameproof casserole. Add about 1.5 litres (2 3⁄4 pints) water to cover the meat very generously. Bring to the boil over a high heat, skimming the surface as necessary to remove all the grey foam.
- As soon as the liquid comes to the boil, reduce the heat to very low. Tie the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, garlic and peppercorns in a little muslin bag and add to the pan with the leek and celery. Half cover the pan and simmer gently, skimming the surface when necessary, for 13⁄4–2 hours or until the beef is very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Meanwhile, make the beetroot relish. Place the beetroot in a bowl with the spring onions and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and gently stir together. Cover and chill.
- Preheat the oven on a low setting. When the meat is tender, use 2 large spoons to transfer it to an ovenproof dish. Spoon over enough of the cooking liquid to cover the meat, then tightly cover the dish with foil. Place in the oven to keep warm.
- Remove the muslin bag from the casserole and discard. Add the potatoes and shallots to the casserole with ½ tsp salt, increase the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the turnips and carrots and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. With a draining spoon transfer them to the dish with the meat.
- Add the cabbage to the broth in the casserole and simmer for 3 minutes or until it is tender. Remove with a draining spoon and add to the other vegetables.
- To serve, slice the beef against the grain and place the slices in soup plates or plates with rims. Top with a selection of vegetables and spoon over some of the broth. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the relish.
Each serving provides
Excellent source of niacin, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc. Good source of iron, selenium. Useful source of calcium.
This is traditionally made using mainly root vegetables, but it is also delicious made with green vegetables. Pod 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh peas (or use 250 g/8½ oz frozen peas); trim 250 g (8½ oz) young asparagus tips; and cut 250 g (8½ oz) tender, thin leeks across into 5 cm (2 in) slices. In step 5, strain the broth, and discard the muslin bag, leek and celery. Add the asparagus to the casserole and simmer for 3 minutes, then add the peas and thin leeks and simmer for another 3 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender. Stir in 250 g (8½ oz) baby leaf spinach and leave the casserole on the heat for a further 1–2 minutes, just until the spinach leaves wilt. Sprinkle with very finely sliced spring onions and serve with boiled tiny new potatoes in their skins.
Traditionally, beetroot was believed to be good for the health of the blood – probably because of its deep red colour. It does contain folate, an essential vitamin for healthy cells and the prevention of anaemia, and is also believed to contain anti-carcinogens.