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BEEF WITH ONION PUREE (Piece de boeuf au oignons en puree)

3 1/2 lb rump roast
1/2 lb bacon
1/4 lb butter
2 cups red wine
4 cups stock
4 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
2 lbs onions
1/2 cup rice
2 tablespoons fried bread crumbs

Cut the bacon into strips, put into a shallow dish, season with
salt, pepper and pinch spices (I used nutmeg, allspice, garlic &
cumin) since they did not specify), sprinkle with 2 tablespoons
brandy, mix and allow to stand for 20 minutes ,turning from time
to time. Lard the meat with bacon strips, and pierce well and
sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley. Season with salt, pepper,
chopped thyme and pounded bay leaf. Put in deep dish, pour brandy
and wine over the meat and allow to marinate in fridge for 5 hours,
turning occasionally. (The meat should be entirely submerged in
the marinade) Drain and dry with cloth. Heat 2 tablespoons butter
and brown the meat on all sides. Add the stock and enough of the
marinade to just cover the meat. Simmer very gently in a slow (250F
deg) oven for 4 hours, turning the meat from time to time.

Peel and slice onions and fry lightly in 2 tablespoons butter, and
add to the braising pan for the last hour of cooking. Remove 1/2
cup of pan juices and reserve. Wash the rice in several waters and
add to pan, along with the onions. Remove the meat and cut int o
uniform slices, carving across the grain. Rub onions and rice
through a sieve. The puree obtained should have a light and creamy
consistency. If the pan juice have been reduced too much , thin
down with a little water. If the rice and onion puree is too liquid,
continue simmering until the de sired consistency is reached. Check
seasoning. Reform the meat into its original shape, sandwiching
the slices together with puree. Mask the whole piece with the rest
of the puree and sprinkle with freshly grated bread crumbs, fired
in butter. Spoon over a little melted butter and put into a very
hot oven to brown the top. Reheat the reserved pan juices, thicken
slightly with a pinch of corn starch and pour around the meat.
Serves 6-8.


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