This is a stew traditionally cooked overnight on Friday for eating on the Jewish Sabbath. In a goyish (nonkosher) variation, a pig’s trotter will thicken and enrich just as well as the calf’s foot. The overnight cooking is an authentic touch, but you may prefer instead to cook at 130°C/275°F/gas 1 for 4 hours or on top of the stove at a bare simmer for 1½-2 hours.
Starting 2 days ahead, soak the chickpeas overnight in cold water.
Next day, drain and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil and boil hard for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.
Preheat the oven to 120°C/250°F/ gas ½. Cut the beef into 6 thick postcard-sized slices. Roll in seasoned flour and brown in the oil over a high heat, transferring to a casserole when done.
Fry the carrot strips in the same pan over a low heat until caramelized, then add them to the beef. Sweat the onion until translucent, then stir in the garlic cloves and cook for 2—3 minutes more.
Add the contents of the pan to the casserole with the chickpeas, calf’s foot or trotter, bay leaf and rosemary. Season. Pour over enough beef or chicken stock or water to cover and lay the potatoes and eggs in their shells on top. Bring to the boil on top of the stove and skim. Put on a lid, transfer to the preheated oven and cook overnight.
Next day, remove the eggs and allow them to cool in cold water. Shell and mash them, then stir into the stew before serving.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.