Pot-au-Feu (Boiled Beef Dinner)

  • Serves

    serves 4


Pot-au-feu (whose name literally means pot on the fire) was one of the specialties at the popular Le Goxoki in Pau. This is their recipe.


For the Boiled Beef

  • 2 12 lb. beef shanks, cut crosswise into 2"-thick pieces
  • 2 12 lb. shoulder clod roast, tied
  • 4 carrots, peeled and trimmed
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and trimmed
  • 3 turnips, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled
  • 1 small head savoy cabbage, quartered
  • 2 leeks, washed, trimmed, and halved crosswise
  • 1 bouquet garni of 3 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 bay leaf, 1 clove peeled garlic, and 3 black peppercorns, tied in cheesecloth with kitchen twine
  • 6 medium waxy potatoes, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Sauce Gribiche and Tomato Sauce

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 12 tsp. dry mustard
  • 8 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chervil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, halved
  • 7 medium plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 14 tsp. hot chile sauce, such as Sriracha
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Step 1

Make the pot-au-feu: Put beef shanks and roast, carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions, cabbage, leeks, and bouquet garni into a large stockpot. Add enough cold water to cover meats and vegetables (about 7–9 quarts). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, for 1 1⁄2 hours. Add potatoes to pot and simmer until meats are very tender, about 1 hour more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Make the sauce gribiche: Put raw egg yolk, mustard, 2 tsp. of the vinegar, and 2 tsp. water into a medium bowl and whisk until foamy. Gradually add vegetable oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until mixture is emulsified and oil is completely incorporated. Whisk in remaining vinegar, then gently mix chervil, tarragon, parsley, and capers into sauce. Press hard-cooked egg through a sieve into sauce and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Step 3

Make the tomato sauce: Preheat broiler. Put tomatoes on a sheet pan and broil until skin is blackened in spots and flesh is very soft, 25–30 minutes. Set aside to let cool briefly. Peel, core, seed, and chop tomatoes and transfer to a bowl. Add olive oil, chile sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4

To serve: For the first course, strain some of the broth into 4 soup bowls. For the second course, put vegetables and shanks into a large warm serving dish. Transfer roast to a cutting board, discard twine, and carve. Add meat to serving dish. Strain some of the remaining broth into serving dish (strain any remaining broth and save for another use). Serve with sauce gribiche and tomato sauce.

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