Pot au feu (pot on the fire) is a classic French dish, eaten by families from all over France, both rich and poor. It is incredibly popular in autumn and winter as the ingredients are all in season, it is also a warming stew and soup that is easy and cheap to make but healthy too, the only downside is that it is time-consuming to make.
Pot au feu would normally be made with beef bones, but as it’s quite hard to get hold of them these days I’ve used beef stock instead. If you do manage to get hold of beef bones, add a bouquet garni as well (not necessary if you’re using beef stock).
This recipe traditionally uses root vegetables, but you can also cook it with courgettes, swede or cabbage, according to taste or whatever you have to hand.
It is best to cook this dish in a pressure cooker as it’s about 3 times faster. Otherwise cook it in a big saucepan or casserole dish for 3 hours.
Pot au feu is the perfect recipe to give you an amazing soup. So whatever you do, don’t throw out the liquid after cooking. Either eat it as a clear broth, or keep a few veg and mash them into the liquid to give you a thicker soup.
French mustard, English mustard, wholegrain mustard and horseradish sauce all go really well with Pot au feu!
I haven’t tried it in a slow cooker yet but I’m convinced it would work brilliantly – do let us know if you give it a try.
- Beef - 1.2kg (stewing & braising steak)
- Leek - 1 (big)
- Celery - 3 sticks
- Parsnip - 3
- Turnip - 2
- Carrots - 6
- Potatoes - 3
- Beef stock - 1 cube
- Water - 2l
- Cut the meat into 5cm pieces and boil it for 15 mn
- Peel the parsnips, the turnips and the carrots and cut them into 5 cm chunks
- Wash the celery, the potatoes and the leek and cut them into 5 cm chunks
- (Optional) Skim the top off the boiling meat
- Add the veg and the stock cube to the meat in the pressure cooker, season to taste and cook for 45 mn on low heat (you can also cook this in a large pan but you'll need to cook it for longer, see below for more)
Switch your kettle on. Get all your ingredients ready.
Cut the meat into 5cm pieces. When the water is hot, pour it into the pressure cooker and put it on a high heat. Add the meat and boil it for 15 mn without the lid on.
Meanwhile prepare all your vegetables: peel the parsnips, the turnips and the carrots then cut them into 5 cm chunks. Wash the celery, the potatoes and the leek. Cut the celery and the leek into 5 cm chunks. Don't cut the potatoes as you want them to stay in one piece.
As an option you can skim the top off the boiling meat to remove most of the cooked blood. This is mainly to have a cleaner end result - I didn't do it to show you the raw result.
Add the veg and the stock cube to the meat in the pressure cooker. If you don't have one you can use a big saucepan or a casserole dish and cook for 3 hours.
For those using the pressure cooker, put the lid on and wait until the steam starts escaping. Then turn the heat down to minimum and cook for 45 minutes.
- If your potatoes are quite small it might be best to cook them separately to avoid them turning to mush.
Don't forget, if you like this recipe please share it! We'd love it if you came back and shared your comments, thoughts, and rating on this dish once you've cooked it. Bon appétit!
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