Here is the German version of this universal staple.
Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 pounds meat cut from the shoulder of beef, veal or pork (any or all three)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 ounce (2 Tbsp.) lard
  • 1 pound root vegetables (at least two of the following: carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, celery root, leek)
  • 1 marrow bone chopped into lengths (optional)
  • 1 quart stock or water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds (6 medium-size) potatoes
  • 1 pound white cabbage or green beans
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped, fresh herbs: lovage, basil, savory (any or all)


You will need a large, heavy saucepan or a casserole dish with a lid. Cube the meat and slice the onions. Melt the fat in a deep, heavy saucepan or casserole dish and fry the meat until it loses its redness; then, add the onions. Cover and allow to stew gently while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.

Peel and cube the root vegetables. Add these to the meat. Add the marrow bone if you have it, and then the stock or water. Season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on tightly again and bring all to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer. Total stewing time will be about 1 hour. You may need to add a little more liquid.

Meanwhile, peel and slice the potatoes into thick wedges. Add them 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time (give the stew a stir at the same time). Wash and shred the cabbage or top-and-tail the beans. Put on top of the stew to cook in the steam for the last 10 minutes.

If you are using a casserole, the dish can be cooked in a preheated oven at 375° for an hour.

When the meat is soft, remove the marrow bones and scrape out the marrow into the sauce. Mash the vegetables a little to thicken the sauce. Finely chop the fresh herbs and stir them in just before you serve. The dish is complete and needs no accompaniment except a slice of good bread to mop up the gravy.

From The Old World Kitchen: The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking (Melville House) by Elisabeth Luard.


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