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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A French Tradition

Pot Au Feu . This is one of my all time favorites. It takes quite a bit of time to make and it simmers slowly on the stove while filling the kitchen with the smell of winter cooking. This dish started off on the back of the stove where all the odd pieces of meat and vegetables were thrown in and left to simmer to be consumed later by the personnel. Hence the name Pot Au Feu / Feu meaning fire and the rest is easy to figure out. There is a specific recipe for it but really you can use any cut of meat. It is better to use something that will take a while to cook so that you get more flavor.

I used ribs here. They are relatively cheap and can take a lot of punishment if you forget them. You blanche the meat and put it back on the stove as if you were making a stock. You add carrots and onions and celery and thyme / bay leaf as well as a few peppercorns. Some parsley stalks so go in there too.

The dish will be served with these vegetables but not the ones they are simmered with.

Separately you should clean and shape some carrots, celery, white turnip. You will also need a few boiling onions and some cabbage. The peelings from the root vegetables can go into the stock.

When the beef is almost cooked all of these vegetables , except for the cabbage and turnips, should be placed in a cheesecloth, tied up and dropped into the stock. The cabbage and turnips should be cooked in a separate pot with a couple of new potatoes.

When everything is cooked remove the meat and vegetables from the stockpot then strain the stock. Discard the vegetables the you originally put in to cook the meat and keep the ones wrapped in the cheesecloth. Arrange everything an a plate or in a serving dish and pour some of the stock over it then sprinkle some chopped parsley over the whole thing.

Serve with mustard and sea salt.

1 comment:

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