The reason I put the meat into hot stock is that it then retains a lot more of its flavour instead of it all seeping out into the liquid. The stock will, of course, be well flavoured, but the meat done this way will also be quite delicious. The veal knuckle will enrich and also add great flavour to the stock. I like to thicken the stock at the end with the marrow from the bone.
Half fill a large saucepan with cold water and add the carrots, leek, onions, garlic, bouquet garni, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, then carefully place in the beef brisket and the veal, and cook very gently for 3–4 hours or until the brisket bones easily come away from the meat. Don’t forget to skim from time to time, but don’t skim all the fat away, just the grey matter (blood).
When the meat is cooked, turn off the heat and leave to cool completely. Lift out the beef, veal and vegetables, and reserve. Drain the stock, discarding any peppercorns and the bouquet garni. Return to the heat and add the mixed root vegetables and potatoes, and cook gently until these are soft. I find that if they are added at the beginning, the stock tastes too much of them and they become too mushy.
Now discard the bones, together with the veal knuckle (remembering to scoop out any remaining marrow and stir it into the stock to thicken it). Also trim away any excess pieces of fat. Slice the brisket into equal portions and serve with all the vegetables and stock.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.