Perfect Meal for Cold Weather: Pot-au-feu which means “pot on the fire” in France

POT-AU-FEU
Serves 8

Pot-au-feu which means “pot on the fire” in France is very similar to the Italian Bollito Misto or to a New England or Irish boiled dinner. Piquant, briny condiments are usually served with the meat to counter the richness. Though you may be tempted to add the potatoes right to the pot, that would “trouble the broth,” as the French would say, making it cloudy. Cook them separately to keep the broth clear.

pot on fire6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 large bay leaves
2 large leeks, white and light-green parts, sliced in half lengthwise, rinsed
2 pounds beef chuck roast, bottom round roast, or brisket
2 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, shank, or oxtail
1 small head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
4 large carrots, cut crosswise into 2 or 3 pieces
2 large celery stalks, cut crosswise into 4 or 5 pieces
2 medium purple-topped turnips, peeled and quartered
2 medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into quarters
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 small Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved if desired
Condiments: Toasted baguette slices, flaky salt, Dijon mustard, creamy horseradish and cornichons for serving

Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni. Tie the leeks into a bundle. Put all of the meat in a 10- to 12-quart stockpot. Cover with cool water by 1 inch and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, bring a 6-quart pot of salted water to a boil, add the cabbage, and boil for 2 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, drain again and set aside. (Blanching the cabbage keeps its flavor from overpowering the broth.)

Skim the surface of the liquid in the pot, and add the bouquet garni, leeks, carrots, celery, turnips, rutabaga, garlic, onion, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and enough water to just cover the meat and vegetables. Return to a boil, skim again, turn the heat down to low, and partially cover. Cook at a very gentle simmer, skimming off any foam, until the vegetables are tender and the meat is very tender. The meat will take 2 to 2-1/2 hours, but start checking the vegetables after 20 minutes and transfer each to a platter as it’s cooked.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes separately in lightly salted water until tender, about 15 minutes, and drain. Set aside.

Transfer the meat to a large platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Discard the bouquet garni and leeks. Put the potatoes and the other cooked vegetables into the broth to reheat for a few minutes, then transfer them to the platter with the meat. Ladle enough broth over the meat and vegetables to keep them moist, cover with foil, and keep warm in a low oven. Strain the broth if you think it needs it.

Serve some of the hot broth as a first course along with the toasted baguette slices. (You won’t use all of the broth; save it for another use, such as a soup, braise, or sauce.)

Serve the meat and vegetables as the main course along with small bowls of flaky salt, mustard, creamy horseradish and cornichons.

Note: The French almost always add a marrow bone or two to pot-au-feu. Aside from adding flavor, marrow bones release gelatin into the broth, which gives it more body. If you use other gelatinous cuts, such as oxtails or shank, marrow bones aren’t crucial. If you do use them, though, you’re in for a treat: The cooked marrow, which slides out of the bone with a little coaxing, is wildly delicious; it tastes rich and meaty but has the consistency of soft butter. Try some smeared on the toast served with the pot-au-feu broth, topped with chopped parsley and sea salt.

Chef John Ash 2017

By |2017-06-25T21:54:05-07:00January 6th, 2017|chef john ash, wine country cuisine|Comments Off on Perfect Meal for Cold Weather: Pot-au-feu which means “pot on the fire” in France

ABOUT SONOMA COUNTY

Trip Advisor named Sonoma County as the #1 Wine Country destination in the U.S. Stay at our Sonoma Wine Country Bed & Breakfasts, Luxury Inns, and Distinctive Cottages ... they are the essence of the Sonoma vibe!

Sonoma County is conveniently located less than 30 miles north of San Francisco. Boasting over 200 of the world's most award-winning wineries, 76 miles of scenic coastline, pristine beaches, the mystical Russian River, majestic redwoods, 21 challenging golf courses, a thrilling road course and drag strip, more than 40 spas, outstanding theaters, fascinating museums, shopping, botanical gardens, galleries, diverse festivals, farm markets and incredible eateries, farmer's markets and ethnic restaurants.

This national and international first class meeting and leisure travel destination also includes miles of scenic Pacific Ocean coastline, pristine beaches, the mystical Russian River, majestic redwood groves, thriving wetlands, tranquil inland lakes and rolling mountain's natural splendor.

VALLEYS & VINEYARDS: Sonoma Country's vineyard-lined valleys open up creating wide expanses with abundant wineries and easy access to the area's towns and villages.

Sonoma County's northern-most town is Cloverdale. Located in the Alexander Valley, close to dozens of wineries and Lake Sonoma, Cloverdale features the largest public park on the Russian River and charming downtown with antique shops and multicultural events on the Plaza.

Situated between the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys, European ambiance abounds in the charming town of Healdsburg. World-class restaurants, art galleries, boutique shopping and luxurious accommodations welcome visitors any time of year.

For an old west feel, Geyserville features buildings dating from the 1800's and the first collective tasting room in California.

Windsor is the newest hot spot for dining and shopping in Sonoma Country. Clustered around the Town Green and Old Downtown, Windsor offers unique shops, restaurants, festivals, and musical entertainment for every age group.

Santa Rosa, home to the California welcome center and the perfect central headquarters to experience sonoma country. Santa Rosa's central location blends relaxed urban appeal and dozens of nearby wineries. A "must" stop for all visitors, the California Welcome Center is housed in the historic Railroad Square and features visitor information and expert staff to assist visitors. "Peanuts" fans will enjoy the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, giving visitors a chance to view original artwork and memorabilia. Snoopy's Home Ice Arena, Gallery and Gift shop are popular visitor stops.

From tranquil to thrilling, Sonoma Country offers a plethora of entertainment options. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens and Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts blend musical talent with the famous horticulturalist's gardens and sculptures. Or take a ride on the wild side and experience the African Savannah in Sonoma Country. Safari West, a wildlife preserve where the whole family can experience and learn about animals in wild habitat, offers up close and personal encounters with giraffe, gazelle, oryx, ostrich, African antelope and cheetahs.

Founded in 1835, the town of Sonoma is the site of California's oldest Plaza. Stroll around the picturesque town square, visit the historic mission and enjoy chic boutiques and restaurants, art galleries and artisan food products including breads, cheeses and olive oils. The charming villages of Glen Ellen and Kenwood are home to award-winning wineries, eclectic shops and the famous Jack London State Park.

RUSSIAN RIVER REGION: The Russian River resort towns are defined by the meandering river, majestic redwood trees and an eclectic mix of people who celebrate diversity. The towns are full of history and local color abounds with unique festivals all year round.

The slow, flat river is a favorite summertime spot where lounging on the beach or drifting along on a flotilla of rafts gives visitors a chance to soak up the Sonoma Country sun. Explore the estuary where the river meets the ocean near Goat Rock State Beach and view the abundant marine life up close and personal. Or take an easy walk past wildlife on the Laguna de Santa Rosa Wetlands Trail. The Russian River Valley is a haven for outdoor adventurers where visitors can camp, hike, swim, canoe, kayak or fish at secluded spots along the river's shore.

Music and art abound in the Russian River Valley. Enjoy the many free summer concerts, or the famous Russian River Blues and Jazz Festivals, both held on the Russian River, Stumptown Daze, and a winter holiday parade of lights on the Main Street of Guerneville.

California's Wine Country is home to some of the finest Sonoma County bed and breakfast inns lodging options in the country: let yourself GO ... Sonoma Wine Country Inns!