Classic Pot-au-Feu


For this dish, David Duband braises two cuts of beef—shank and rump roast—with marrow bones and then separately cooks leeks and carrots with more marrow bones until everything is deeply flavorful and tender. When serving, you can mix the horseradish with the sour cream to make a tasty garnish. More Beef Dishes

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs
6 to 8
Classic Pot-au-Feu. Photo © P-A Jorgensen
© P-A Jorgensen


  • 1 large onion, quartered

  • 6 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 2 1/2-inch lengths

  • 12 celery ribs, halved crosswise

  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and halved crosswise

  • 4 meaty beef shanks (about 3 pounds), 1 1/2 inches thick

  • One 3-pound beef rump roast or bottom round, tied

  • 4 parsley sprigs

  • 4 thyme sprigs

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • Kosher salt

  • Eight to ten 2-inch marrow bones (optional)

  • 8 quarts water

  • 6 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths

  • 6 medium turnips, peeled and quartered

  • 1 pound rutabagas, peeled and cut into eighths

  • 1 1/2 pounds unpeeled small potatoes, about 1 1/2 inches, scrubbed

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Horseradish, whole-grain mustard and sour cream, for serving


  1. In a large pot, combine the onion and half each of the leeks, celery and carrots. Set the beef shanks and rump roast on top of the vegetables. Wrap the parsley, thyme and bay leaves in a piece of moistened cheesecloth and tie into a bundle. Add the bundle to the pot along with the peppercorns and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Add 2 of the marrow bones and the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the rump roast is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

  2. Transfer the shanks and roast to a large bowl and cover. Strain the broth and return it to the pot. Boil over high heat until reduced to 10 cups, about 45 minutes; skim off the fat.

  3. Add the remaining leeks, celery and carrots to the broth along with the parsnips, turnips and rutabagas. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are just tender, 30 minutes. Add the remaining 6 to 8 marrow bones and the potatoes. Cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 40 minutes.

  4. Untie the rump roast and cut it across the grain into 6 to 8 slices. Cut the shank meat into 2-inch chunks; add the meats to the pot and simmer until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the broth into shallow bowls. Add the meats, marrow bones and vegetables and serve, passing horseradish, mustard and sour cream at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Powerful red Burgundy, such as a bottle from Gevrey-Chambertin.

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