Saturday, February 16, 2013

 pot-au-feu, re-discovering classic french cooking...

literally a pot-in-the-fire, a stew made of several sorts of meat and vegetables, simmering for hours, until the meat is very tender and all the flavors merged together, served with 2-3 sauces. this is a simplified version, but still delicious. photos:  michael marquand en leonoor ottink

1 kg beef rump roast
2 branches of celery
3 carottes
2 leeks
2 large onions
3 bay leaves
bunch of parsley
bunch of thyme
4 garlic cloves
8 whole peppercorns
sea salt
season vegetables, 1-2 pieces for each person, in winter for example quartered carrots, leeks cut in thumb-like pieces, quartered turnips, quartered potatoes

tie the parsley, thyme and bay leaves together with kitchen string
put all the ingredients in a large pot, preferably cast iron, cover completely with water or broth.
bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat and let it simmer, partially covered, for 3 hours, skimming occasionally.
take out the meat and strain the broth through a sieve.
return the broth to the pot and add the meat again, together with the season vegetables.
bring to a boil and let it simmer until the vegetables are tender.
take out the meat and cut into slices, arrange on a large platter together with the vegetables and spoon some of the broth over it.

serve with crusty bread and mustard, horse-radish sauce, or.......the best of all; with classic french 'sauce alsacienne'; a mayonnaise made of hard-boiled egg yolks with herbs, capers and the broth, recipe will follow later!

don't throw the remaining broth away,  pour it through a sieve and keep in portions in your freezer, use it for risotto, stews etc.

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