Pot Au Feu

You do need at least 3-1/2 hours to cook it however, but here is the trick. You can make it the day before and then re-heat it.

Pot Au Feu


2 Kilo chuck steak (or gravy beef is another name for it) - Cut into large chunks  (or if you want to be fancy see option above).

4 bay leaves

3 litres of water or a mixture of both beef stock and water (1/2 each)
thyme and chervil tied together in a bunch.  (or just thyme if you don't have chervil) or bouquet garni from the shop

2 large onions, cut into 1/4's

5  thin carrots, cut in half lengthways (or 3 large ones, cut into 1/4)

2 large potatoes cut into 4 pieces lengthways each

3 leeks - cut the green bit off and cut in 1/2 lengthways

3 turnips or parsnips peeled and cut into 1/4's

3 stalks of celery, cut into 4 inch pieces.

1 celeriac, cut into 8 pieces.

Salt and pepper  (if you are unsure start with 2 teasp salt 1/2 teasp pepper)

For serving: parsley, cornichons, mustards, bread, butter. (or none of them)


Oven on at 180C.

Place steak, bay, thyme and chervil and 3 litres of water (or a mixture of beef stock and water) into a strong casserole dish that can go on top of the stove.  Bring to a boil. Lid on,  Place into oven for 2 hours.

Take out of the oven, remove herbs.  If there is "scum" impurities on top of the stock, take it off with a large spoon and throw away.

Add vegetables (all of them) season with salt and pepper.

Cook for another hour, test the vegetables, they should be cooked but not falling apart, meat should be very tender.  If it is not, put it back into the oven for another 1/2 hour or so.

Check the seasoning - does it need more salt and pepper?

Once it is cooked there are two ways to serve it.

1. Bung it into large shallow bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley if you have some, and serve with bread that has been sliced prettily, butter, mustards and cornichons.

2. Remove the meat and veg into a large serving dish, keep warm.  Strain stock and serve as a  1st course soup.   Then serve meat and vegetables with cornichons, mustards, sea salt and bread as the 2nd course.

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