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Meg Dodsís Brown Soup


4 lb (2 kg) shin beef
1 small knuckle bone of veal or ham
2 oz (50 g) butter
1 small carrot, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
White part 2 leeks, chopped
Garnish: sippets of dry toast
1 small sliced turnip
2 quarts (2Ĺ litres) water
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper
1 lb (450 g) rump steak, cubed
1 tablespoon mushroom ketchup


Serves: 8


First cut the shin beef into large pieces and if possible chop the veal or ham bone. Heat up the butter and soften the chopped vegetables in it, then add the meat and brown it well, adding a little more butter if necessary. Pour off any excess fat and add the water, bring to the boil, then skim off the scum.,

When skimmed add a cup of cold water, bring back to the boil, cover and simmer very gently for about 3-4 hours without stirring so that all the goodness can be extracted from the meat. (Nowadays, the slow crockery pot electric cooker would be ideal for this.) Take from the heat, let it get quite cold, then remove any fat from the top and strain well.

Cut the rumpsteak very small and brown quickly without fat in the frying-pan, then add to the soup. Simmer for 1 hour, then season to taste, add the mushroom ketchup and the cayenne pepper and serve with sippets (small triangles) of dry toast. It is a very fine consommé indeed. Originally it was strained again before serving; however with the price of meat today I do not think this is feasible and the small pieces of rump steak are very delicious. A glass of port or sherry added at the last minute is very good.

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