Take a piece of rump of beef, or the chuck roast, weighing six pounds, run several strips of fat pork through the lean part with a large larding needle, bind it into shape with tape, put it into a braising pan, if you have it, if not, into a pot with a close-fitting lid.
Put two ounces of butter, half a teaspoonful of pepper and three tablespoonsful of salt into the pot, cover it, put it over a slow fire for half an hour, stirring it all round twice, then add a quart of water, leave it to very slowly cook for an hour and a half longer, then add three dozen button onions and two dozen very young carrots or large ones cut into several pieces and shaped like young ones, place these around the meat, make a bouquet of five branches of parsley, two bay leaves and two sprigs of thyme tied together; half an hour later add two dozen tiny young turnips or large white ones cut into balls. Let it now stew gently an hour and a half longer, making altogether four hours.
Take out the meat, remove tapes and trim it. Take up the vegetables and lay them in neat rows around the meat, the onions first, then the carrots, then the turnips. Put them to keep hot. Throw half a cup of ice water into the gravy to make it easy to skim, then take off all the grease. Stir in a tablespoonful of brown thickening (or of butter and flour and color with caramel if you have none ready) and a small teaspoonful of sugar. Stir gently, and when just boiling pour it round the meat through a strainer.