Pot au Feu

This is the quintessence of French family cuisine, and must be the most celebrated dish in France! It honours the tables of the rich as much as it does those of the poor. Despite its lack of sophistication, it has not only survived the passage of time but is still one of the great favourites today, a triumph of simplicity. From this dish, thousands were born, such as Poule au Pot, Potée au choux, Navarin, daubes, carbonnades. And let's not forget the beautiful chicken soup. You can feast on this dish for three days.

Pot au Feu

Ingredients Required

For the meat:
1kg Ham Hock, soaked in cold water in the fridge for overnight
500g Flank of Beef, outer fat removed
400g Smoked streaky bacon, rind left on
3.5 - 4L Cold water
2 pinches Sea salt (to taste)
1 Bouquet garni (6 bay leaves, 10g parsley, 4g thyme)
20 Black peppercorns
3 cloves Garlic
350g Morteau Sausage, Whole(*1)
400g Marrow bone, whole (optional)
For the vegetables:
480g Carrots, peeled, cut in half widthways and lengthways
120g Celery stalks, cut into four
300g Turnips, peeled and cut in half
300g Onion, peeled, cut into 4, root left on
1 Small Savoy cabbage, cut in to 8 pieces, root left on

Cooking Method

For the tomato sauce 

  1. Place all the meat bar the Morteau sausage and marrow bone in a large casserole, cover with the cold water, add the salt and bring to the boil for 1 minute while skimming to remove the impurities(*2).
  2. Turn down to a gentle simmer, add the bouquet garni, pepper corns and garlic and cover with a lid (leaving a small gap), cook gently, bubble just breaking the surface for 3.5 hours (*3).
  3. Skim off some of the fat(*4), then add the Morteau sausage, marrow bone and vegetables and cook for a further half an hour(*5).
  4. Taste the cooking liquor and correct the seasoning.

To serve

  1. You could simply serve the pot au feu straight from the casserole and let your guests help themselves which would lend a convivial feeling to the table, but at the same time this could be a little awkward.
  2. An alternative is to carve the meat in the kitchen, place on a serving plate, surround with the vegetable and serve the cooking liqour separately in a large bowl.
  3. Serve the pot au feu with Dijon mustard, gherkins and a French Baguette.