Pot Au Feu - French Braised Beef and Vegetables
French Braised Beef, Vegetables, and Bone Broth
Pot au fue literally translates to mean "pot on fire" and this dish will certainly warm you from the inside. It’s a French classic, known for being an economical dish that can feed many, or feed a single family for several meals.
Despite the fact that it is a solitary recipe, it can be served as three separate dishes - bone marrow atop toasted bread, collagen-rich broth, and plated braised beef and vegetables. Although, if your preference is for a hearty soup, there is certainly nothing wrong with loading up a bowl with the meat and vegetables and ladling the broth in to cover.
The most important ingredients in pot au fue is cartilaginous meat cuts and marrow bones. We used short ribs, chuck roast, and oxtail, but feel free to swap them out for neck, shank, or another cut of your choosing.
How To Make Pot Au Fue
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 2 large leeks, white and light green parts sliced thinly, dark green parts
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 pound beef bone marrow bones (2-4” pieces)
- 2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
- 1 ½ pounds oxtail
- 2 pound beef chuck roast
- 1 large head green cabbage, cut in half across, each half further cut into quarters (8 wedges)
- 6 stalks of celery, sliced into ¾-inch pieces
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped into large chunks
- 7 cloves of garlic, each cut into 3-4 pieces
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 4 large carrots, chopped int’ 1-inch pieces
- 4 parsnips, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 2 turnips, chopped into ½-inch cubes
- 8-10 small yukon gold potatoes
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, slightly crushed
- 8 whole cloves
- Preheat the oven to 450℉.
- Place all of your meat and bones on an olive oiled sheet pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, flip and then roast for 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and tie the marrow bones in some cheese cloth.
- Transfer the beef, beef bones, and drippings into a stock pot.
- Pour ¼ cup of water to the pan while it is still hot and stir to pull up fond. Scrape it into the stock pot.
- Place the dark green parts of the leeks, the crushed peppercorns, the thyme, cloves and bay leaves in cheese cloth and tie it up (you may need to make two separate bundles).
- Pour water into the pot until all the ingredients are fully submerged. Drop in your cheese cloth packets.
- Place on a burner and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove the roast, the short ribs, and the oxtail and set aside in a covered dish.
- Simmer the bones for 1 ½ more hours.
- At this point, you can either set the pot in the fridge (lid off) to cool or continue to the next step. The benefit of cooling is that you can easily remove the fat, without altering the collagen-rich broth.
- Add the roast, short ribs, and oxtail back to the pot, along with the carrots, yellow onions, garlic, cabbage, and parsnips. Simmer for an additional 1 hour. If you didn’t previously cool the broth to remove the fat, you’ll need to skim as much off the top as you can throughout the duration of the cooking. Either discard it, or save for another use.
- Add the potatoes, turnips, and green and white parts of the leeks into the pot, bring to boil, turn the heat down, and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
- Remove from the burner and transfer the meat and vegetables to a plate. Serve the marrow bones as an appetizer with toasted bread or crackers and a butter knife for slathering. The broth can be served as a separate meal entirely or as a precursor to the main course.