7.5 litres (2 3/4 pints) water
350 g (12 oz) brisket of beef
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly milled white pepper
4 white peppercorns
50 g (2 oz) rindless streaky bacon
1 large pickled beetroot
350 g (12 oz) white cabbage
100 g (4 oz) leeks
1 tablespoon pork dripping
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree
2 - 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
100 ml (4 fl oz) soured cream to garnish
1. Bring the water to the boil. Add the beef and bring back to the boil, removing the scum.
2. Seal the cut side of the unpeeled onion half on an electric hob, or skewer it on a fork and hold it over a gas flame until brown and add to the meat, together with the bay leaf, salt and peppercorns.
3. Simmer the meat over a low heat for about 1 hour with the lid of the pan slightly open.
4. Dice the bacon. Cut up the beetroot. Clean the cabbage and cut it into strips. Clean and slice the leeks. Heat the dripping in a large saucepan and fry the bacon. Add the cabbage and leeks and fry for a few minutes.
5. Stir in the beetroot and its juice with the tomato puree.
6. Lift the beef out of the stock and slice it. Gradually stir the meat stock into the vegetables. Add the beef, season to taste with the vinegar, sugar, salt and white pepper. When serving, add a spoon of soured cream to each portion.