Here’s the traditional pot-au-feu recipe, also know as French stew or beef and vegetable stew.
It’s made with pieces of beef, salted lard and a ton of fresh vegetables!
It’s heartwarming, delicious and ideal for enjoying the bountiful harvest of vegetables, homegrown or from the market!
And fall is the perfect moment to make a good pot-au-feu.
Although a pot-au-feu is most often prepared in the fall, when the vegetable harvest is at its peak, don’t be afraid to make this recipe during summer or winter.
I found this recipe amongst a bunch of old recipe cards that my husband got from his mom. It’s the traditionnal pot-au-feu recipe.
What you’ll need to make this recipe
What cuts of beef should you choose?
It’s best to choose different variety of beef cuts, some fatty and some gelatinous, like a bone-in beef blade roast, beef shank or chuck.
Also, a piece with a marrow bone will add a lot of taste to the broth.
To get a lighter broth
For a healthier version, you can prepare the broth the day before.
Then just reserve the meat from the broth in a separate container and refrigerate everything.
The next day, degrease the broth before reheating it and put the meat back in.
- 4 or 5 pound pieces of beef (bone-in blade roast, chuck or shank) *
- A little olive oil to sear the meat
- 1 pound streaky salted lard
- 1 cabbage, cut in pieces
- The white of a leek, cut in pieces lengthwise
- 1 turnip, cut into large pieces
- 5 potatoes
- Green beans (tied into small bundles with butcher's twine)
- 2 large onions
- A bay leaf
- A sprig of thyme
- 2 - 3 Tbsp beef broth concentrate (ex Bovril)
- Salt 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 pieces of meat (except the lard) on both sides.
- When the meat is nicely colored, set aside.
- Turn down the heat. Pour a little water in 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.
- Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 2 hours (see note **). During this time, skim the broth a few times.
- Add the vegetables, thyme and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for another 2 hours. After one hour, adjust the seasoning and add the remaining 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 and putting the meat back in and continuing with step 9.
Serve with marinated beets and a loaf of bread to dip in the broth.