Published November 1, 2007.
This 17th-century dish relies on lardoons, pork trotters, and a 48-hour marinade to create the ultimate pot roast. It's time to bring this recipe into the 21st century.
Classic boeuf à la mode requires up to four days of preparation and calls for hard-to-find ingredients like pork trotters and uncommon tools like lardoirs.
We wanted to bring boeuf à la mode up to date while maintaining its status as an elegant dish a cut above a simple pot roast.
Traditionally, the beef in this dish is larded (strips of fat are inserted in the meat). With today's fattier beef, we found this step could be eliminated. Instead, we salted the meat for just an hour for seasoning and added a little smoky flavor by browning the meat in bacon drippings. Wine is a key element in this sauce, but we did have to tame it a bit. Reducing the wine before it was added to the braising liquid maximized its complex fruit flavors and minimized sourness and astringency. In fact, the flavor was now intense enough to eliminate the need for marinating. Since the braising liquid is used for the final sauce, however, we needed to balance the wine flavor by adding sautéed onion and garlic and large chunks of carrots. Our final challenge was to achieve the proper consistency. We needed gelatin, but pork trotters and split calves' feet—the traditional sources—are not common in modern grocery stores. So we went directly to the source, adding powdered gelatin after the sauce had finished reducing.list of recipes