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Pot-Au-Feu

Pot-au-feu is the quintessential French family meal.


Pot-au-feu (translation: pot on the fire) is a traditional French dish of meat and vegetables boiled with herbs and served in courses.


It can be as elaborate or simple as desired. In this recipe, I've kept it simple, using only one kind of meat; however, it is quite common to find several different cuts, including sausage, used to make this dish.


Preparation for this recipe begins the day before it is planned to be served. The roast (and any other cuts of beef used) are brined overnight to infuse it with seasoning and flavour. The meat(s) is then boiled with more herbs along with marrow bones. Once the meat is tender it is removed from the pot and the vegetables are cooked in the remaining broth infusing them with delicious flavour.


Traditionally, pot-au-feu is served in courses as I mentioned, with the marrow bones served first with lots of bread. The meat and vegetables are then served on a platter along with bowls of broth and a range of condiments like Dijon mustard, salsa, prepared horseradish, etc. But there is nothing wrong with serving everything all at once. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

(Makes 10 servings)


brine:

  • 1/3 cup coarse sea salt

  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar

  • 10 to 12 cloves garlic, halved

  • 1 teaspoon cracked whole peppercorns

  • 5 whole allspice

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 2 dried bay leaves, crushed

meat:

  • 2lb bone-in pot roast (chuck or brisket)

bouquet garni:

  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley

  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 10 to 12 cloves garlic, halved

  • 4 whole allspice

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 2 bay leaves, crushed

  • 1 teaspoon cracked whole peppercorns

vegetables and marrow:

  • 3 to 4 marrow bones

  • 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

  • 1 large onion, halved

  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into wedges

  • 8 small white potatoes, peeled (or 16 new potatoes)

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

 

Directions

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add 8 to 10 cups of water and the brine ingredients. Bring to a simmer and stir until salt and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the brine to cool to room temperature.


Place the roast into a Dutch oven and pour the brine over the meat so that it covers the meat completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight (minimum of 8 hours). The next day, discard the brine and rinse the meat. Set aside.


Wrap the ingredients for the bouquet garni in cheesecloth and tie into a bundle with kitchen string. Similarly, wrap the marrow bones in cheesecloth and tie together. If the pot roast is starting to slip from its bone, use some kitchen string to secure the meat.


Place the pot roast, marrow bones, bouquet garni, onion, and half of the chopped carrot and celery into a large Dutch oven. Add enough water to cover then place over medium-high heat to bring to a boil. If any scum floats to the surface, skim this away and discard. Reduce heat to medium and continue simmering (and skimming as needed) until the pot roast is soft and tender (about 3 hours).


Transfer the pot roast and marrow bones to a large bowl. Then, over a second Dutch oven, place a strainer. Pour the broth through the strainer into the other Dutch oven to separate out the overcooked vegetables, bouquet garni, and any other solids (discard). Return the strained broth to the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Add the remaining carrot and celery, turnip, and potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes).


Serve the meat, marrow bones, and vegetables on a platter. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning as needed and serve in bowls with lots of fresh or toasted bread and condiments.

 
 

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

total calories = 372 | total fat = 21.55g | saturated fat = 8.94g | cholesterol = 101.6mg | sodium = 100.33mg | net carbohydrates = 22.72g | dietary fibre = 4.46g | sugars = 4.76g | protein = 29.54g

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