Pot au feu

Pot-au-feu, Pot au feu [poh-toh-feuh]

“Pot on fire” is the literal translation of this French phrase. Culinarily it refers to a French dish of meat and vegetables slowly cooked in water. The resulting rich broth is served with croutons as a first course. followed by an entree of the meat and vegetables. Any combination of meat and vegetables can be used and the mix varies according to the region. If the meat has MARROW-filled bones, the marrow can be served on toast as another course preceding the entree.



  • 1 1⁄2 kg beef, with bone
  • 300 g lardons or 300 bacon, cut into cubes
  • 4 -6 small onions, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 medium sized carrots, peeled and left whole
  • 4 leeks, washed and cut in half
  • 4 turnips, peeled
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled & halved
  • bouquet garni or 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 200 ml beef stock
  • all-purpose flour


  1. Crock Pot:

Combine all ingredients with the beef stock and cook on low 8 to 10 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings. Put the beef on platter and surround with the vegetables. Keep warm. Strain broth, skimming off fat, and add the flour – mix well and heat up gently until thickened. Serve separately in a gravy boat. Slice meat and serve accompanied with pickles and horseradish, French bread and butter.

  1. Traditional:
  • Brown meat in frying pan, adding salt and pepper. Sprinkle a little flour over the meat while turning over. Place meat into oven proof casserole dish or le Creuset.
  • Briefly fry bacon, onions & garlic. Add the carrots and then the leeks and beef stock. Bring to the boil. Put everything into a large le Creuset or casserole dish, adding the turnips and potatoes last.
  • Cook at low temperature (150C/300F) for about 5 hours or until the meat falls of the bone.
  • Slice meat and serve accompanied with pickles and horseradish, French bread and butter. Serve the thickened jus in a gravy boat.


Depending on the meat being used, a Pot au Feu can be very rich. If you would like a leaner version, prepare it the day before and allow to cook overnight. Once cooled the fat will rise to the surface and it can be skimmed off. The dish can then be re-warmed.

For a Pot au Feu with a Mediterranean flavour, modify the recipe by reducing the amount of meat, increasing the amount of vegetables and adding more herbs.

(Source recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/classic-french-pot-au-feu-crock-pot-or-le-creuset-231465)

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Post Author: dvd

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