Warm you up French traditional “Pot-a-Feu” for October warmth
This is a meal I used to get served by my French grandmother whilst on holiday in France, during our schoolbreaks. I have always loved this warm, reassuring soup with its big chunky pieces of vegetables and meat.
Pot-au-Feu, literal translation: Pot on the Fire. Traditionally this dish used to basically be a pot full of all the leftover vegetables and meats from the week, left to simmer with some added water and herbs.
Now, the recipe has been refined a little but the idea is still there: you fill the pot to the brim and you just let simmer, for a hours. So here is my family’s recipe for Pot-au-Feu, that can be warmed up several times over and it just seems to get better every time.
Peeled and chopped:
- 6 large carrots – 2 leeks – 2 turnips
- 1 large celeriac – 2 onions – 4 parsnips
Also chopped into large squares:
500g of beef (best sort for this kind of recipee is very tender, lean large squares of beef).
- Make your “Bouquet Garni” (a small parcel of herbs that you attach together with string and that you plunge and cook and the bottom of the pot) made out of: A sprig of thyme, rosmary, parsley, sage and two laurel leaves).
1 litre of water
2 beef stock cubes (I use Oxo that I bring back from England)
Large sea salt crystal and pepper.
How to put if all together:
Place the water into a large pot, then put in the Beef stock cubes. Warm until dissolved.
Then place your Bouquet Garni into the bottom and poor your vegetables cubes and meat in. Make sure that the meat is covered by the vegetables and that there is enough water to cover 3/4 of the ingredients. Salt with the sea salt and pepper lightly (you can always add later to taste). Cover with lid.
Serve into a large bowl with the broth from the pot (some people in France serve them seperately, it’s all up to you) with some mustard for the meet if you wish. Accompany with home made organic bread (see next recipe from today).
The smell will take over your kitchen and make you want to sit there all the time it is cooking, just so you can inhale the vapours!
It tastes even better the next day and, if you meat was a little fatty, you can actually skim the grease off the top of the water and get a really low fat but very nutritious meal!