– An economical cut of beef, such as chuck or brisket;
– One or more cartilage-rich meats, such as oxtail, shank, or beef ribs;
– Marrow bones;
– Root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, and celery root;
– Onions, cabbage, and leeks;
– Herbs and spices, such as parsley, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, salt, and black pepper.
Although it takes a long time, the recipe is very easy. Nothing is coated with flour, browned, or fried and there’s only one pot to clean.
When I was ready to photograph my pot-au-feu, I discovered that I didn’t have a platter big enough to hold it; it makes a LOT of food! Next time I make it, I will plan ahead and try to get an authentic photo to replace the one above, which came from Wikipedia.
2 pounds of beef chuck
1 pound beef back ribs
2 pounds large beef marrow bones
1 medium onion
4 whole cloves
3 leeks, white and light green part only
2 turnips or rutabagas
1 small celery root (celeriac), optional
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 stem of fresh parsley
1 Turkish bay leaf (not California)
5 whole peppercorns
Salt to taste
1 small head of cabbage, cut into 4 to 6 wedges
A pinch of nutmeg
Coarse sea salt
Country Dijon mustard
Slice the leeks lengthwise and rinse well, checking between layers for dirt. Wash and peel celery root, if using, Clean and trim other root vegetables, but leave them whole so they won’t fall apart. Drive the cloves into the onion so both can be easily removed. Set aside.
In a large pot, combine the cuts of beef and the marrow bones and cover with cold water. Place over high heat. As soon as the water starts to boil, turn off the heat. Remove the meat and bones from the pot and discard the water. Thoroughly wash the pot. (Don’t skip this step!) Put the meat and bones back in the pot or transfer to a slow cooker and add the leeks, onions, carrots, rutabaga or turnip, celery root, if using, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, cloves, and peppercorns to the pot. Add salt and cover with cold water.
Slowly heat the pot to a bare simmer, cover, and let cook over low heat for about 2½ to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender. Add additional water if needed. Do not stir vigorously or let the pot come to a boil to keep the vegetables and meat from falling apart and to keep the meat tender. It may be necessary to turn off the heat occasionally or set the lid askew if your burner does not go low enough. Skim the cooking liquid with a ladle periodically to remove scum and foam.
Add the cabbage and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Remove the meats and vegetables from the pot. Cut beef and ribs into portions. Place meats and marrow bones on a large platter. Discard the parsley, thyme, leeks, and onion. (You may remove the cloves and serve the onion.) Cut up the vegetables and arrange around the meat and bones. Spoon some of the cooking liquid over the platter. Strain the remaining broth, add a pinch of nutmeg, and serve as soup for a first course or with the meal.
Put the cornichons, sea salt, and mustard into separate dishes and serve with the pot au feu.
Provide marrow scoops or other small spoons for digging out the marrow from the bone cavities.
If the herbs are tied together with string, they are called a bouquet garni.
Serves 6 to 8.
Nutrition data for each of 8 servings:
Calories: 416; Fat: 25.5g; Protein: 35.1g; Carbs: 10.5g; Fiber: 3.5g; Net Carbs: 7g
Note: This is an estimate only: data not available for some of the items in the recipe.
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Edited after publication.
(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker, www.carbwars.blogspot.com