December 13, 2010

A warm welcome to Provence with a Pot au Feu

Ginger and Nutmeg have been overwhelmed by their generous welcome to Provence and Southern France.  They feel very privileged to have been invited into peoples’ homes for  some terrific meals during the last few weeks.  The lovely lunches and dinners have included; sausage stuffed peppers and tomatoes, curry chicken, soupe de poisson, shrimp and scallop risotto, roast beef, chili, summer salads and a traditional pot-au-feu.  These have all been very special occasions, highlighted by terrific company, lovely wine and great food.

The pot-au-feu and soupe de poisson are very traditional Provençal dishes.  Pot-au-Feu is literally translated to “pot on the fire”, which is essentially a French stew.  Typically, it is made with beef although can easily be made with pork as well.  Many countries have a variation on pot-au-feu, as it is typically a way to use low cost (less desirable) cuts of meat.

The French pot-au-feu is easy to make, it is really intended to be left on the fire, as more ingredients are added and servings dished out.  Nutmeg tried her hand at this easy dish recently with decent success.  The typical ingredients are easy to find in markets and stores in the fall and winter:

  • low cost cuts of beef or pork
  • oxtail or marrow bone
  • carrots, leeks, turnips, onions
  • bouquet garni

Nutmeg’s version can be found below:

Pot au Feu

Pot au Feu

This is a perfect fall/winter meal for cooler nights or after outdoor activities. The welcoming smell permeates the house and begs for big sweaters, good friends and lots of laughs. To our new friends - Merci!!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 mediums Leeks cleaned and sliced
  • 3 mediums Carrots peeled and cut in large pieces
  • 2 whole Celery Stalks cleaned and sliced
  • 1 whole Large Onion sliced
  • 3 pounds Rump roast or small pork roast
  • 2 pieces Oxtail or sliced bacon Nutmeg actually used some sliced salted lardon (bacon) instead
  • 1 whole Bouquet Garni You can make your own or buy in the grocery store
  • 1 tablespoon Fleur de Sel
  • 1 tablespoon Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence be generous
  • 6 small Turnips peeled and sliced
  • 6 small New Potatoes cleaned
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic crushed
  • 2 whole Baguettes bought from the Boulangerie just before the meal & sliced

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large stockpot on high heat cook the lardons (bacon) slightly
  2. Add the meat (beef or pork) and brown on all sides
  3. Add leeks, carrots, turnips, celery, onion, garlic, bouquet garni, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper to taste
  4. Add enough water and white wine to cover and bring to a boil over high heat
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 3 hours, or until the meat is tender
  6. Skim foam off the surface occasionally
  7. Strain the cooking vegetables from the meat and broth and set aside for later
  8. Return the broth and meat to the pot
  9. Bring the broth to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1hour
  10. Add the potatoes after a 1/2 hour
  11. Remove the meat from the broth, discard the trussing strings and carve
  12. While carving warm the vegetables in the broth for a few minutes until warm
  13. Serve meat and vegetables on plates, with crusty fresh bread

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4 Responses to “A warm welcome to Provence with a Pot au Feu”

  1. Jamie Kerr says:

    when will you come to visit me in China?? That trip would add volumes to your food blog !!

    Take care AA


  2. nutmeg says:

    You are right I am missing a whole Asia section!

  3. Jamie Kerr says:

    Chateau Kerr is open for you

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