Chuck the shallots in a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of oil and mix them around with a good scattering of salt until evenly oiled. Get a frying pan good and hot and toss in the shallots. They should start to fry swiftly and the aim is to get them nice and richly coloured all over. Let them get on with it, giving the frying pan the occasional jostle every now and then so as not to let them burn on any one side. This should take about 8 minutes. While the shallots cook, separate the garlic bulb into cloves and peel them all, then toss them in the oily bowl.
Splash the vinegar over the shallots and let it burn off completely before adding the garlic cloves and evenly scattering over the sugar. Keep all cooking together for approximately 3 minutes more, swirling them around more frequently than before. You want the sugar to caramelise and colour the contents richly but not burn. Put the shallots and garlic on a plate to one side.
Mix together the flour with a generous amount of salt. Chop the ox cheek into big chunks comparable to dividing your fist into four. Roll the cheek chunks in the seasoned flour. Superficially wipe out the frying pan and get the butter and a little oil nice and hot but not smoking. Add the ox cheek to the pan where it should sizzle immediately. Don’t crowd the pan; fry the meat in batches if necessary, as this will allow it to colour better. After 10 minutes or so, when the chunks are deeply browned all over, remove the ox cheek to a heavy, flameproof casserole. Pour the wine into the frying pan and bring it up to a simmer while scraping at any tasty sticky stuff from the meat with a spoon, then take off the heat. Tuck the shallots and garlic between the meat pieces and then pour in the canned consommé. Tie the bay leaf around the thyme with a little kitchen string and pop this bouquet garni in with the peppercorns too. Squeeze or splat in the tomato purée here and there between the meat. Ensure the meat is submerged under the liquid.
Bring the pan up to a gentle yet brisk simmer (a kind of plup, plup, plup), replace the lid and leave the ox cheek to braise for approximately 2 hours. When probed with a knife it should be beginning to feel quite tender. At this point peel the turnips, divide them into six, and add to the pan with the flageolet beans, drained of three-quarters of their juice. Check to see if a little more water is needed to cook the turnips, but add sparingly if so. Run a spoon around the inside edge of the pan to get any delicious sticky residue back into the stew. Replace the lid and cook for a further 40 minutes until the turnips are soft and the sauce is the consistency of gravy.
Scatter all over with the chopped parsley and eat as it is, or with good bread, if you like. It does not need any extra vegetables.