Baeckeoffe
(baker's oven)

Baeckeoffe is a mix of marinated mutton, beef and pork, with mixed vegetables, marjoram, thyme & parsley. Basically any ingredients you have laying around, a typical French peasants dish.

Traditionally, the lid of the casserole is sealed using a rope of bakers dough placed in a line around the rim of the casserole dish. The lid is pushed hard into the dough to form an air tight seal, this keeps the moisture in during cooking.
 
There are two versions to the origins of this recipe, one is that French women would drop the pots off with the baker in the morning, go and do the laundry, and When they returned home with children after school they would then pick up the pot from the bakers.

Another version is that this dish was prepared on Saturday evening and left in the bakers bread oven overnight, as it cooled down. On the way back from church, the women would pick up their Baeckeoffe and a loaf of bread.

Either way, if you think about it, this is just a very early French slow cooker, which aloud families to have a cheep, ready to eat meal when they arrived home, brilliant!

Ingredients

for the marinade

     - 1 onion chopped
     - 1 clove of garlic
     - 2 cloves
     - 1 bay leaf
     - 1 sprig of thyme
     - 1/2 bunch of parsley
     - 50 cl of white wine from Alsace
     - Salt and pepper


main ingredients

     - 600 g boneless lamb shoulder
     - 600 g boneless pork loin
     - 600 g braising steak
     - 2 trotters bleached
     - 1.5 kg of potatoes with firm flesh
     - 4 large onions
     - 2 leeks
     - 3 carrots
     - 1 bouquet garni
     - 30 cl of white wine from Alsace
     - 100 g of flour
     - Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Cut the meat into pieces of about 80 to 100g.

  2. Place the meat in a bowl with the ingredients for the marinade, Season, Mix well and marinate overnight.

  3. The next day, peel and chop the four large onions.

  4. Rinse leeks and slice them.

  5. Peel and chop the potatoes and carrots.

  6. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (180 ° C).

  7. Drain the meat and discard the spices.

  8. Arrange half the onions, in layers in the bottom of a large casserole.
     
  9. Place the the meat and vegetables, in layers, on top of the onions, along with the bouquet garni, Salt & Pepper.

  10. Make sure you end with a layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with white wine.Mix the flour in a bowl with enough cold water to make a soft paste.

  11. Roll it into a bead or rope and place around the edge of the casserole and cover with the lid. Gently push the lid to seal the casserole, make sure you seal the pot properly with the dough.

  12. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.


Remove the bouquet garni, and serve in the pot with fresh, french bread and a nice glass or two of red wine.

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