Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cooler Weather Calls For Pot Au Feu

Man it got cold real quick this past few weeks. It was really cold at my home last night, I even lite the fireplace last night it was so cold. Cold weather brings my mind back to some of my favorite dishes. Most of my friends know of my love for cassoulet, I have another favorite French cold weather dish, pot au feu.

Pot au feu is a regional French dish consisting pretty much of various tough cuts of beef simmered in liquid with vegetables and seasonings. The stewing vegetables are then removed and replaced with hearty root vegetables. I have my own personal twist which comes from my Alsatian heritage which adds fresh bacon to the dish. I have some bacon in my fridge that I cured for a month, so it is ready for the pot.

Pot au feu Recipe


4 medium leeks, white part only
8 carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
8 stalks celery, halved crosswise
1 large onion, quartered
2 pounds beef top round, trussed
2 pounds oxtail
2 pounds brisket, trussed
2 lb slab bacon, (in one solid piece) trussed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 small turnips, peeled and large diced
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and large diced
1 lb fingerling potatoes

1. In a large stockpot place 4 leeks, 4 carrots, 4 celery stalks and onion, place meat on top of vegetables along with dried thyme, bay leaves, salt and peppercorns. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 3 hours, skimming any foam which forms on the top.

2. Strain the broth and discard the cooking vegetables. Return the broth and meats to the pot and add remaining vegetables except the potatoes. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1 hour, adding the potatoes after a half hour.

3. Remove the meat from the broth and discard the trussing strings. Carefully remove the vegetables from the broth, place them on a large serving platter, and moisten with some broth. Cover and keep warm.

4. Carve the meat and place on the serving platter with the vegetables.

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