The key to this quintessential comfort food is the phenomenal broth. To make it so delicious, chef Ludo Lefebvre uses short ribs, rump roast, marrowbones and beef shank, plus an herb bundle and multiple vegetables.
Slideshow: Hearty Stews
2 pounds beef marrowbones in 2-inch lengths (have your butcher cut them)
3 pounds English-cut beef short ribs
One 2-pound beef rump roast, tied
One 1 1/2-pound beef shank, about 1 1/2 inches thick
2 parsley sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
8 quarts water
4 medium unpeeled turnips, quartered
1 celery root (1 1/4 pound), peeled, quartered and cut into 3/4-inch-thick
1 rutabaga (1 1/4 pound), peeled, quartered and cut into 3/4-inch-thick
4 large carrots, peeled and quartered crosswise
2 medium leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned and cut crosswise into 4-inch
1 large onion, quartered
Freshly ground pepper
Dijon mustard, for serving
Cornichons, for serving
Fleur de sel, for serving
How to Make It
Rub both sides of each piece of marrowbone with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and transfer to a large pot; let stand for 10 minutes. Add the short ribs, rump roast and beef shank. Wrap the parsley, thyme, garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns and cloves in a piece of moistened cheesecloth and tie into a bundle. Add the bundle to the pot along with the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the rump roast is very tender, about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Add the turnips, celery root, rutabaga, carrots, leeks and onion to the pot. Simmer over moderate heat until the vegetables are just tender, 30 minutes.
Transfer the roast to a carving board. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the marrowbones, ribs, shank and vegetables to a platter and tent with foil. Untie the roast and slice it across the grain 3/4 inch thick; arrange on the platter.
Strain the broth into another pot, discarding the solids and herb bundle. Skim off the fat and season with salt and pepper. Serve the meat, vegetables and broth separately or together with Dijon mustard, cornichons and fleur de sel.
The pot-au-feu can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat the stew gently before serving.
This rustic Burgundian dish is sublime with an earthy, dense red Burgundy, like one from Gevrey-Chambertin.
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