- 6 quarts water
- 6 pounds beef short ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 onion stuck with 4 cloves
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 10 whole peppercorns
- Kosher salt
- 1 small green cabbage (2 pounds), quartered lengthwise and cored
- 8 leeks, white and light green only
- 2 celery ribs, halved crosswise
- 8 carrots, halved crosswise
- 2 large turnips, peeled and quartered
- 8 large boiling potatoes, peeled
- Dijon mustard, cornichons and freshly ground pepper, for serving
- Boil the water in a large pot. Add the beef and return to a boil; skim. Add the onion, tomato paste, thyme and peppercorns. Season with salt and simmer over low heat for 3 hours, skimming.
- Cook the cabbage in boiling salted water for 5 minutes; drain. Tie the leeks and celery into a bundle with string. Add the cabbage, leek and celery bundle, carrots and turnips to the beef and simmer over moderately low heat for 30 minutes.
- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes; drain. Add the potatoes to the beef and cook until all the vegetables and the meat are tender, about 20 minutes longer.
- Skim the broth. Remove the leek bundle from the pot and discard the string. Spoon the meat and vegetables into soup plates, ladle a little of the broth over them and serve. Pass the mustard, cornichons, salt and pepper separately.
A Médoc has the youthful flavors of Merlot plus the tannic structure and body to match the boiled beef.