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Hubert Keller's Alsatian Baeckeoffe

Source: Beef for All Seasons
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  15 Hours 50 Minutes
  Serves 8
Hubert Keller is the author of this wonderful recipe that is a tradition in his native Alsace. In Alsatian dialect, Baeckeoffe means "baker's oven." Traditionally, the women would prepare this dish on Sunday evening and leave it with the baker to cook in his gradually cooling oven on Monday while they headed down to the river to wash the family's clothes. The baker would seal the casseroles with leftover dough and on the way back with their clean clothes, the women would pick up their casserole and a loaf of bread.
For Marinade:
2 onions, minced
2 small leeks, white and tender green parts, julienned
1 carrot, cut into 1/8-inch slices
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 sprig thyme
3 tablespoons finely minced parsley
3 cups dry white wine (preferably Alsatian Riesling)
For Meat:
1 pound beef chuck roast, choice grade, cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 pound boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 pound boneless lamb shoulder,choice grade, trimmed and cut into 1 1/4-inch cubes
1 pound pigs' feet (optional)
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (or other yellow potatoes), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For Pastry Seal:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten
Hubert Keller's Alsatian Baeckeoffe Recipe at
TO PREPARE MEAT AND MARINADE: Combine the marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add all the meats and toss gently. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

TO PREPARE VEGETABLES: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, and lightly oil a large ovenproof casserole (preferably earthenware and with a vent hole in the lid) with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the casserole with half of the potato slices. Remove the meats and vegetables for the marinade and reserve the marinade. Arrange the mixed meats over the potatoes, and then place the vegetables in a layer over the meats. Cover with a layer of the remaining potato slices and pour the marinade over them. Add enough additional white wine or water to just cover the top of the potatoes. Place the lid on the casserole.

TO PREPARE PASTRY SEAL: Mix together the flour, water, and olive oil in a mixing bowl, and form into a rope shape long enough to wrap around the rim of the casserole. Press the dough onto the rim of the casserole. Place the lid on top of the dough and press to seal completely (this seal will prevent any of the cooking liquid form evaporating). Brush the pastry seal with egg, if a glossier look is desired.

TO COOK: Place the casserole in the oven and cook for about 3-1/2 hours. Remove the casserole and bring to the table. Cut under the lid to break the pastry seal and remove the lid. Serve the baeckeoffe out of the casserole onto warm serving plates.

WINE RECOMMENDATION: Hubert Keller suggests Alsatian Riesling; Red Bordeaux will also complement the meats in this recipe.

HELPFUL TIPS: Note that the meat needs to be marinated overnight. It's a good, easy dish to make for a party and you'll have fun explaining its origin. The casserole must have a vent hole in the lid so the steam can escape while this dish is cooking. Hubert recommends serving this dish with a green salad and a rustic, crusty bread.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 8
Calories: 554
Fat. Total: 16g
Fiber: 4g
Carbohydrates, Total: 46g
Sodium: 133mg
% Cal. from Fat: 26%
Cholesterol: 143mg
Protein: 40g
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