Tag Archives: wine

Le Pot-au-feu

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)
vegetable ($10)
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!!


See those bones and the marrow? It's going to be soooo gooood!

Pouring wine in the broth

Why are you being so polite? “Faire chabrot” Add some wine first.

Marrow on bread

Marrow from the bone.

Le Pot au feu with tomato sauce

The meat and vegetables with tomato sauce to complete your pot-au-feu experience!


Stout Venison Stew

School starts up tomorrow and, in preparation for another busy semester, I spent this MLK day cleaning, cleaning and cleaning.  That, and listening to MPR all day (if you didn’t hear Cory Booker’s MLK speech, take a listen.  I thought it was pretty good!).  I always feel a little bit better going into the semester with a clean slate, so to speak.

Once I got the place suitably cleaned up, I decided to make a stew to get me through the week.  After Thanksgiving, my brother sent me home with a little cooler full of venison.  One of the little packs was labeled “stew meat” and much to my delight, it was already cubed for me!  Score!  Now, for a recipe.  For Christmas, my mom made a lamb stew that inspired me to adapt a lamb recipe I found in this months’ Cooking Light for a venison version.  By far, this is the best venison I’ve ever made.  It was super tender, and the vegetables complemented it well.  Between the stew and the clean apartment, I’m ready for a new semester!

Stout Venison Stew
6 Tbsp. olive oil
2 c. chopped onion
1 Tbsp. thyme
2 tsp. rosemary
3 Tbsp. flour
2 lbs. venison, cubed (you could also use lamb or beef)
2 c. stout beer
1 c. red wine
2 c. beef or veggie broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 c. potato, cubed
2 c. diced carrot
1 medium turnip, peeled and cubed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add 3 Tbsp oil to pan.  Add onion, thyme, and rosemary.  Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place onion mixture in a large bowl.  Place flour in a shallow dish.  Sprinkle venison with salt and pepper.  Dredge venison in flour, shaking off excess.  Return stockpot to medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil.  Add half of venison to pan and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes.  Add venison to onion mixture.  Repeat with remaining venison.
2.  Add beer to stockpot and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Reduce liquid to 1 cup.  Put onion and venison mixture back in pan.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds.  Add wine, broth and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.  Uncover and stir in potato, carrot, turnips and mushrooms.  Simmer, uncovered for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until meat and veggies are tender.  Stir in mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stout Venison Stew