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Baeckaoffa

French Chef Michel Bernard Platz, co-owner with Jose Sanabria of Out of Flower cooking school and specialty catering in Dallas, recommends traditional Alsatian fare. In Alsace, the Yuletide dinner starts with an onion and leek tart, followed by a hearty one-dish creation called Baeckaoffa served with walnut bread. For dessert, try an Alsatian Cheese Tart. Serves 4 to 6.

  • 1/2 lb. pork shoulder
  • 1/2 lb. boneless lamb shoulder
  • 1 lb. lean chuck
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T. chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, plus 6 cracked peppercorns
  • 2 c. Alsatian Sylvaner or Riesling wine
  • 1 T. butter
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 4 large potatoes, sliced
  • 4 bay leaves

Cut meats into 2-inch chunks and place in large bowl. Add the herbs, garlic, cracked peppercorns, and chopped parsley. Pour wine over the mixture and marinate overnight.

Remove meats from marinade. Season with additional salt and fresh ground pepper.Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the inside of a three-quart earthenware casserole. Begin with a layer of potatoes and onions (season each layer with salt and pepper), then add a layer of combined meats. Continue alternating layers, finishing with a layer of potatoes.

Pour marinade over all, place the bay leaves on top, and cover the pot. To prevent steam from escaping, seal all around the lid with a dough paste made by mixing flour and water to a dough consistency.

Bake for two hours. Serve in the same pot directly from the oven with a green salad.

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