Navets au Petit Sale

When treated imaginatively, turnips make a delicious accompaniment to any meat dish. Serve Navets au Petit Sale (nah-vay oh peh-tcc sah-lay) with roast chicken or roast beef for a delightful and sustaining Sunday lunch.

4 oz. salt pork, diced

1 tablespoon butter

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

2 lb. small turnips, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoon black pepper

8 fl. oz. beef stock

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

In a medium-sized flameproof cas-serole, fry the salt pork over moderate heat, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until it resembles small croutons and has rendered most of its fat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate and keep warm. Remove the casserole from the heat and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the pork fat.

Return the casserole to the heat and add the butter. When the foam subsides, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are soft and translucent but not brown. Add the turnip slices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.

Stir in the sVgar, flour, parsley and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for a further 2 minutes. Pour over the stock, and bring to the boil.

Remove the casserole from the heat, cover and place it in the centre of the oven. Braise for 20 minutes. Uncover the casserole and continue to braise for a further 15 minutes, or until the turnips are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove the casserole from the oven and transfer the mixture to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle over the chives and salt pork and serve immediately.