Boiled Beef French Style Recipe

This method of cooking should be carried out by simmering rather than boiling. It is a method generally applied to joints of meat and whole chicken. Cold savory mousses are made from previously boiled meats, ham and chicken. Hot savory mousses, mousselines and quenelles are made from the raw flesh of chicken poached in a white stock and are therefore also included in this section.

Points to remember
(a) Where the item is cooked with the specific intention of serving it cold the quality, flavour and moistness will be greatly enhanced if the meat is allowed to cool in the liquid in which it has been cooked.

(b) If there is a high humidity in the kitchen area where they are cooled there may be a danger of the liquid in which the item is kept becoming sour. Adding a small quantity of cold water will help to reduce the temperature of the liquid thereby keeping it sound.

(c) Pickled items such as ox tongue and silverside should be soaked in cold water for a period of 12 hours before cooking. They should not be cooked in the water in which they have been soaked.

(d) All items should be brought to the boil in cold liquid. Calf’s head and tongue are exceptions which should be cooked in a boiling blanc preparation.

(e) Where fresh root vegetables form part of the main garnish, they should be boiled in the cooking liquid with the meat they are to accompany. For large quantities they may be cooked quite separate in some of the liquid from the boiled meat.

(f) All hot cooked meats once carved should be brought back to the temperature they are to be served at in the liquid in which they were cooked, but should not be allowed to boil as the slices may become distorted in shape.

(g) Skin from tongue and ham is more easily removed while it is still warm and moist. This avoids the possibility of its tearing.

(h) Stock that accompanies the meat should be passed through a cloth after sediment has been allowed to sink to the bottom of the pan.

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 2½-3 hours.


— 1½ kg Prepared Thick Flank or Brisket
— 12 peppercorns
— 1 bay leaf
— 1 sprig thyme
— 4 cloves
— 4 juniper berries
— 250 grams carrots (barrel shaped)
— 200 grams turnips (barrel shaped)
— 250 grams button onions
— 5 leek
— 2 celery
— ½ kg cabbage, tied
— salt
— gherkins
— sea salt or coarse salt
— French mustard


(1) Place the meat into a deep sided saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and skim thoroughly.

(2) Add the bag of herbs and salt and gently simmer for approximately 2 hours.

(3) Add the vegetables in the order that they take to be cooked: first the celery, button onions, leeks, cabbage and turnips.

(4) When cooked transfer the meat to one saucepan and the vegetables to another with some of the cooking liquid. Discard the muslin bag of herbs.

(5) Carve the meat into slices 3–4 mm thick across the grain at an angle of 45°.

(6) Neatly arrange the slices on a flat oval type dish and garnish with the vegetables. Moisten with some of the strained cooking liquor.

(7) Serve with the accompaniments of gherkins, coarse salt and French mustard.