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
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This is a very traditional French meal, easy to make and you can vary the ingredients depending what you have in the fridge.

  • 2 pieces Oxtail or sliced bacon
  • 3 pounds Rump Roast or small Pork Roast
  • 1 large Onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium Leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 medium Carrots, peeled and cut in large pieces
  • 6 small Turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 whole Celery stalks, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Bouquet Garni
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Herbes de Provence
  • 2-3 Cups Water
  • 2-3 Cups White wine
  • 6 small Potatoes, cleaned
  • 2 Baguettes
  1. In a large stockpot on high heat cook the oxtail or bacon slightly
  2. Add the meat (beef or pork) and brown on all sides
  3. Add the onion and cook until translucent
  4. Add the leeks, carrots, turnips, celery, garlic, bouquet garni, black pepper, herbes de Provence
  5. Add enough water and white wine to cover the ingredients
  6. Bring to a boil
  7. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook partially covered for about 3 hours, until the meat is tender
  8. Skim foam off the surface occasionally
  9. Strain the vegetables from the meat and broth and set-aside for later
  10. Return the meat and broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook partially covered for another hour, add the potatoes after 30 minutes.
  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 the meat and vegetables along with some crusty bread


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