Breton Pot-au-Feu with Buckwheat Dumpling

  • Serves

    serves 8-10


(Kig Ha Farz)

This hearty Breton stew usually calls for poitrine salee, a meaty French salt pork. It's hard to find in the States, so we substituted corned beef.


  • 2 lb. corned beef
  • 1 1⁄4 lb. smoked pork sausage (e.g., kielbasa)
  • 1 fresh ham hock
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 4 small white onions, peeled, each studded with 1 clove
  • 1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs thyme, and 10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, tied in a bundle)
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 4 cups white buckwheat flour
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 1⁄2 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, trimmed, and quartered
  • 8 small potatoes, washed
  • 1 lb. leeks, washed, trimmed, and chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
  • 3 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large green cabbage, cored and cut into 8 wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Place corned beef, sausage, ham hocks, onions, bouquet garni, and peppercorns in a very large stockpot (at least 16 qt.) with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Step 2

To make the dumpling (farz), combine buckwheat flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and whisk in milk and egg. Place a cotton dish towel in a bowl and pour in batter. Gather corners of towel to make a loose pouch (farz will swell as it cooks), and tie tightly with kitchen string. Add to stockpot, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, skimming fat and foam.

Step 3

Add carrots, potatoes, leeks, cauliflower, and turnips to meat. Simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 45 minutes. Add cabbage and cook 15 minutes.

Step 4

Transfer farz to a colander; drain and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove meat and vegetables from pot and keep warm in a low oven. Discard bouquet garni, then strain broth and reduce it over high heat for 10 minutes.

Step 5

Slice meat, place on a platter, and moisten with a little broth. Unwrap farz and break up with 2 forks so that the texture resembles couscous. Add farz and vegetables to platter, season all with salt and pepper, and serve warm with broth on the side.

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