The clue is in the name and pot au feu literally means pot on the fire, which is actually cooking in a saucepan. The principles are simple; the elements needing more cooking go in first…
1kg brisket or plat de côtes
1 onion quartered
2 leeks roughly chopped
4 carrots roughly chopped
1 turnip cut into 8 wedges
3 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
Sprig of thyme
Sprigs of parsley
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to serve
1Place the beef in a large pot. Cover with water to a level about an inch (2.5cm) above the meat. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for one hour, skimming off the foam from time to time.
2Transfer to a slow cooker and add the remaining ingredients. Slow cook for a further 6-8 hours.
3If you wish you can serve the broth separately, but just before service we fish out the aromatics, cut the beef up and then put it back into the pot, which we put on the table. I love it with buttery mashed potatoes that ‘dissolve’ into the broth, but dipping in a buttery baguette also hits the mark – although, from what we’ve seen, it appears the French aren’t great dippers?