Do you remember the end of November? You know, when it was in the upper 20s, low 30s and we all put on our hats and mittens and scarves and pretended it was winter? But really, you know, it wasn’t. Now this weather, this is winter weather. This is the winter weather where I put on my hat and my mittens and my scarf and all you can see is the whites of my eyes. This is real.
And this cold winter weather is the perfect time to enjoy Le Pot-au-feu. Mon bf made this dish for me at the end of November, when we still just pretending it was winter. But I know the weather we’re experiencing now is more what he had in mind to accompany this very hearty winter dish that he used to enjoy in France. And now, I share with you his description of his mother’s recipe so that it will warm you up this weekend!
Le Pot-au-feu (from mon bf)
“Pot-au-feu” can be translated as “pot on the fire”. It is a very simple winter dish made from vegetables and beef and is a great way to prepare a broth that is particularly enjoyable during cold days.
The bravest of you can try the bone marrow on bread which can be part of the recipe. You might also want to enjoy the broth with the ancestral tradition of “faire chabrot” – aka – pouring red wine in your broth before finishing your bowl.
“Faire chabrot” is often regarded as a poor men/farmer’s tradition, not acceptable in the high society. Which is precisely what Alyssa and I are so keen to do it (Alyssa is, after all, a farmer’s daughter!). Regardless of any social context, you might want to try this experience for the great taste it has.
For 4 persons
Difficulty : extremely simple
Time : preparation 30 minutes, cooking 3 hours.
Cost : moderate
chuck roast 2 pounds ($9)
3 carrots (baby carrots left unchopped are find)
1 onion (whole)
4 potatoes (cubed)
2 leeks (sliced)
3 turnips (cubed)
2 bones with marrow (optional)
garlic, salt, pepper, clove
tomato sauce ($3.8) and 1 sliced onion.
Put the chuck roast in a large pot and cover it with water. Upon heating and boiling, foam might form at the surface and has to be removed. When there is no more foam, add the peeled vegetables, one peeled (entire) onion pinched with clove. Add more water to cover ingredients. Caution! Too much water will give a weak tasting broth. Add salt, garlic and pepper according to your taste. Keep at a gentle boil for 3 hours. (optional, add the bones with marrow after 2 hours).
Meanwhile you can prepare a tomato sauce with the remaining sliced onion. In addition to a tomato sauce, the Pot-au-feu is often appreciated with Dijon mustard and pickles.
After 3 hours, the meat and vegetable are taken out of the broth and are ready for eating.
The broth can be served as a starter after the fat has been removed from the surface. As strongly suggested earlier, the great “faire chabrot “ tradition is possible.
For the fearless of you interested in the bone marrow, the bones that were added after 2 hours and cooked for about 1 hour helps to keep the marrow in the bone so it is not lost in the broth. Take the hot marrow from the bone with a knife and spread it on (toasted) bread and add salt to your taste. Enjoy!!