11:30 am on 23 May 2016

Pot-au-Feu is French for “pot on the fire”. In other words, a stew or stock pot which is left cooking over the fire.

Serves 4-6


  • 1 ½ 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
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • finely chopped parsley, to serve


Slow Cooker method:

1.Combine all ingredients with the beef stock in a slow cooker and cook on low 6-10 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.


Traditional Method:

1. 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.

2. Briefly fry bacon, onions & garlic. Add the carrots and then the leeks and beef stock. Bring to the boil. Put everything into a casserole dish, adding the turnips and potatoes last. Cover.

3. Cook at low temperature (150C/300F) for about 5 hours or until the meat falls of the bone.

Notes: 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.


Slice meat and serve accompanied with pickles and horseradish, French bread and butter. Serve the thickened jus in a gravy boat.

Traditionally, the broth is served first with a bit of nutmeg and the marrow (if a marrowbone was used) spread on toasted bread. Then the meat and the vegetables are served with coarse salt and strong Dijon mustard, horseradish sauce, and sometimes also with gherkins pickled in vinegar.

Pot-au-feu broth may also be used as a soup (often enriched with rice, pasta or toasted bread), as a base for sauces, or for cooking vegetables or pasta.


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