Here is the traditional recipe of pot-au-feu, also called “bouilli”.
This French Canadian traditional recipe is made with beef, salted lard and a ton of fresh vegetables!
It’s comforting, delicious and perfect for enjoying the bounty of vegetable harvests at the market or in your own garden!
Although pot-au-feu is most often prepared in the fall, when the vegetable harvest is at its peak, you can also do this recipe year round, even in the summer.
At home, the husband has kept his mother’s recipes, typed on cardboard and filed in a metal box (very retro, isn’t it?). Among these, the “Pot-au-feu“…
Since I wanted to continue the tradition of making a pot-au-feu in the fall, I decided to do this recipe.
Here is the recipe of the traditional pot-au-feu,as our grandmothers used to prepare it.
Which cuts of beef to choose for a pot-au-feu?
For the meat, choose a variety of beef cuts, some fatty and some gelatinous.
A blade roast can also be used.
Also, a piece with a marrow bone will add a lot of taste to the broth.
Which vegetables should you add to the pot-au-feu?
A wide variety of vegetables can be added to a pot-au-feu, but here are the ones most often found in the classic version:
- Beans (green or yellow)
- Green cabbage
To obtain a lighter broth
For a healthier version, you can prepare the broth the day before.
Then, simply reserve the meat from the broth in a separate container and refrigerate.
The next day, degrease the broth before reheating it and put the meat back in.
- 4 or 5 pound piece of beef (a bone-in chuck roast, chuck and shank in our case)*.
- A little olive oil to sear the meat
- 1 pound of salted lard
- 1 cabbage cut in four
- The white of a leek cut in four lengthwise
- 1 turnip cut in large pieces
- 5 potatoes
- Green beans (tied in small bundles with butcher's twine)
- 2 large onions
- A bay leaf
- A sprig of thyme
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of beef stock concentrate (ex Bovril)
- salt and pepper
- In a large casserole, heat a little olive oil.
- Season the beef cuts with salt and pepper.
- When the oil is hot, sear the meat (except the lard) on both sides.
- When the meat is browned, set aside.
- Turn down the heat. Pour a little water in the bottom of the casserole and scrape with a wooden utensil to remove the juices.
- Put back the pieces of meat, the salted lard and cover with water.
- Add 2 tbsp of beef stock concentrate to the pot.
- Boil for 2 hours (see note **). While the meat is cooking, skim the broth a few times.
- Add the vegetables, thyme and bay leaf.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer for another 2 hours.
- After one hour, adjust the seasoning and add the last tablespoon of beef stock concentrate if needed.
* Choose a variety of beef cuts, some fatty and some gelatinous. A piece with a marrow bone will also add a lot of taste to the broth.
** For a healthier version, you can do this step the day before. Reserve the meat, strain the broth to remove impurities and refrigerate. The next day, degrease the broth before reheating it, putting the meat back in and continuing with step 9.
Serve with marinated beets and a loaf of bread to dip in the broth