VEGETABLE AND WINE SUGGESTIONS:
Boeuf à la mode is traditionally garnished with braised carrots and onions, and is usually accompanied by buttered noodles, parsley potatoes, or steamed rice. Other vegetables could be braised lettuce, celery, or leeks, or buttered green peas. Serve with it a good, characterful red wine, such as a Burgundy, Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, or Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
BEEF CUTS FOR BRAISING:
Although it is not essential, beef for braising is usually larded. That is, strips of fresh pork fat are inserted into it, going in the direction of the grain. They baste the interior of the meat as it cooks, and make an attractive design when the meat is sliced. Most butchers will lard the meat for you.
Choose a piece of beef of at least 3 pounds, and, however long it is, its width should be at least 4 inches. It shrinks quite a bit during cooking. Count on 1 pound of boneless beef for 2 or 3 people.
First Choice: Rump Pot Roast—Pointe de Culotte, or Aiguillette de Rumsteck
Other Choices: Sirloin Tip, Knuckle—Tranche Grasse
Chuck Pot Roast—Paleron or Macreuse à Pot-au-feu
Top Round—Tende de Tranche
Bottom Round—Gîte à la Noix
Eye of Round—Rond de Gîte à la Noix
(*) AHEAD-OF-TIME NOTES:
For a wait of up to one hour, return meat, vegetables and sauce to casserole, cover loosely, and set over barely simmering water.
For a longer wait, slice the meat and arrange it on a fireproof platter. Place the vegetables around the meat. Baste with the sauce. Half an hour before serving, cover and reheat in a 350-degree oven. Leftover braised beef will be just as good the next day, heated up the same way.