Pot-au-Feu Recipe – French Beef Stew
Pot-au-Feu Recipe – French Beef Stew
Prep Time
15minutes
Cook Time
3hours
Prep Time
15minutes
Cook Time
3hours
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small square of cheesecloth, tie up the peppercorns and cloves. There are few things worse than unsuspectingly biting into a whole clove or peppercorn.
  2. Tie your parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with string to make a bouquet garni. It should be tight enough that nothing falls out, but loose enough that you’re not cutting into the herbs with the string.
  3. Chop the leeks, cutting off the ends and the green, leafy bits. We’re only going to use the white/light green part. Slice them in half longwise, flip them over onto the flat side, and slice.
  4. Roughly chop the celery, carrots, and turnips. Slice the onion in half, discard the outer layers, leaving the halves whole. Peel the garlic and crush each clove with the side of your knife and some pressure from the palm of your hand.
  5. Toss the beef, cheesecloth bundle, bouquet garni, leeks, celery, carrots, turnips, onion, garlic, and potatoes (if you’re using them) in a large soup pot (My biggest pot at the time was a dutch oven, not big enough). Cover with water and let everything come to a boil on medium-high heat. When it boils, lower the heat and let it simmer for about three hours or until the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. Skim off any scum that may float to the surface while simmering.
  6. Optional: If you have a cinnamon stick lying around that you’re not planning on using, toss it in.
  7. When the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked, remove the solids from the broth, and discard the bouquet garni and cheesecloth. If you’re serving it right away, no need to do this, just skip to step nine.
  8. Salt the broth to your liking. My pot wasn’t big enough so I had to do my potatoes separately. Some extra time to simmer just the broth will allow it to reduce, making it even more flavorful.
  9. Serve pot-au-feu hot, topped with chopped parsley and cornichons (delicious tiny pickles). Store the solids and the broth separately. If you have leftovers and keep the broth in the fridge, make sure you remove any fat that solidifies at the top.
Recipe Notes

Special Tools You’ll Need: Cheesecloth, kitchen string

Recipe inspired by bon appetit, sbs, the spruce, and Food & Wine.