Pot of stew with meat, veggies, and fresh herbs
Pot-Au-Feu, The French Beef Dish Intended To Feed A Crowd
Pot-au-feu, meaning “pot in fire,” is a delicious French stew made of meat and root veggies slow-cooked in a delectable broth, then served in three separate dishes.
Pot-au-feu originated in the Middle Ages as a slow-cooked stew of cheap meat and stale root vegetables cooked until tender in a pot over a wood fire.
During 16th century famines, the humble dish became popular with the aristocracy, and by the 18th and 19th centuries, it emerged as a French classic with standardized techniques.
Today, the stew is typically made of beef bones and beef leg, ribs, rump, and shoulder, although variations can include sausage, pork, lamb, or seafood.
The stew also uses potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, celery, turnips, thyme, bay leaves, and parsley, and sometimes fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, and rosemary.
Once finished, the pot-au-feu is separated into three parts. First, the bone marrow is served on toast, if bones in the stew are large enough to extract marrow.
As a second course, the broth is strained and served with bread, and finally, the meat and veggies are enjoyed with cornichons and a sauce of mustard and broth.