feeds 2 hungry overworked people
750g beef brisket, cubed
1 litre beef or veal stock
1 litre water
2 carrots, chopped into 1.5cm chunks
2 medium leeks, chopped into 1.5cm chunks
1 large onion
1 4cm piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and bruised
4 star anise
1 3cm piece cinnamon
1/8 cup fish sauce
1 2-3cm piece of rock sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 bouquet garni made with thyme and parsley
1 kaffir lime
Rub a bit of salt and pepper on the beef.
Over an open flame, char the onion and the ginger. Peel the onion’s outer skin away; discard it. Cut off the ends. Then quarter it. Slice the ginger in half and then bruise it.
Pour both the stock and water into the cocotte. Add the rock sugar, fish sauce, salt, cloves, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, garlic and bouquet garni to the liquid. Heat the stock up until it is simmering. Put in the beef, the onion, ginger, leek and carrots. Keep cooking with the liquid at a low simmer with the lid off.
After 30 minutes, remove the carrots and leeks. Quickly plunge in ice water, drain and then set aside. In another hour, remove the beef and onion and set aside. Keep simmering the stock for another hour, after which strain it. Put the beef, onion, carrots and leeks back into the liquid, heat through and then season with more sugar or salt to taste. Just before serving, squeeze a touch of kaffir lime juice into your soup.