Wipe the meat with a damp cloth and remove some of the outside fat if this is excessive, tie the meat into shape. Wash the bones. Put the meat and bones in a large strong pan, add the salt and the cold water, and soak for ½ hr. Bring very slowly to simmering point, add the herbs and simmer very gently for 1 hr.
Meanwhile, scrub and peel the root vegetables; keep the onions whole but cut the others into large pieces and add these to the broth after the first hour’s simmering. Put on the lid but leave it slightly tilted to allow steam to escape, and simmer very gently for another 2½ hr. Soak, wash and finely shred the cabbage, scald and skin the tomatoes and cut them into small pieces. Add these to the broth and, if liked, sufficient medium-sized peeled potatoes to serve with the meat. Continue gentle simmering for ½ hr.
To serve: strain the broth through a colander, return it to the pan and keep it hot. Dish the meat with the potatoes, some of the large pieces of vegetable round it and a little of the broth to moisten; keep this covered and hot. Remove the bones and herbs from the broth, cut