Classic French Pot au Feu
A pot au feu is a classic French dish that is slowly cooked all together as a stew but served separately as three different courses.
- Serves: 10 persons
- 2-pound piece beef shank (with bone)
- 2-pound piece beef chuck
- 2pounds beef ribs
- 2pounds large beef marrow bones
- 2whole cloves
- 1large white onion (peeled)
- 1bouquet garni
- 1small cinnamon stick
- 1teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2bay leaves
- 1tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 5stalks celery (cut into large pieces, plus leaves)
- 12medium carrots (peeled and quartered)
- 8leeks (washed, cut lengthwise and then into large pieces)
- 1 ½pounds turnips (peeled and quartered)
- 1 ½pounds small new potatoes
- 1fresh or day-old baguette (sliced and toasted)
- Coarse sea salt
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Tie the beef shank, chuck, and ribs into a tight bundle with kitchen twine and place it in a large stockpot.
Step 3Wrap the marrow bones in cheesecloth, secure it tightly with the string, and place it in the stockpot.
Step 4Pour enough cold water into the stockpot to cover the ingredients.
Step 5Bring the mixture to a boil, skimming often.
Step 6Turn the heat down as soon as the water boils, so it is just a low simmer.
Step 7Push the cloves into the onion and wrap the bouquet garni , cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth. Place the onion and the bundle into the stockpot.
Step 8Season the mixture with the salt and continue simmering, uncovered, for 2 1/2 hours. Add more water, if needed, to keep the meat and marrowbones covered. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Step 9Wrap the celery, carrots, leeks, turnips, and potatoes each in a separate cheesecloth bundle, securing them tightly with string.
Step 10Add the celery, carrots, leeks, and turnips to the pot and continue simmering for 40 minutes.
Step 11Check the vegetables for doneness, and then remove any that have turned tender and cooked through.
Step 12Add the potato bundle to the pot and continue simmering for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.
Step 13Remove each vegetable and meat bundle from the pot, unwrap it, and arrange the vegetables in groups around the meat on the serving platter. Keep warm.
Step 14Discard the clove-studded onion and strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve.
Step 15Return the broth to a clean saucepan and bring it to a boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, until it has reduced in volume and has a good, strong flavor. Season it with additional salt, if needed.
Step 16Transfer the hot broth to a serving bowl and offer as soup. Spread the marrow on the slices of toasted bread (called croûtes) and serve as an appetizer or alongside the broth. Present the meat and vegetable platter as the main course with small bowls of the garnishes on the side.