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Pot au Feu with Leek and Parsnip Puree

Posted Dec 02 2009 2:20pm

Serves 6

Literally meaning “Pot on Fire”, pot au feu (poh-toh-FEUH) is a French dish of slow-simmered meats and vegetables. Traditionally, the broth is served on its own as the first course, but can be ladled over the meats with the main dish. In this version, the stewed vegetables are pureed and served as a welcomed accompaniment. Any root, potato or winter squash can replace the parsnips.

Large stock/soup pot
Cooking twine
Food processor

2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 whole cloves
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, whole
1 (3-4 pound) chuck roast, tied
4 beef shanks or short ribs
3 quarts beef broth
4 medium parsnips, rough chopped
2 medium leeks, greens removed, rough chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
1-2 tablespoons butter (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste

Wrap the bay leaves, parsley and thyme with kitchen twine. Place the bouquet into a large soup pot. Prick the cloves into the onion and place into the pot.

Add the roast and shanks, pour the beef broth over to cover. Heat over medium-high heat until simmering; turn the heat to low until the liquid is just barely simmering.

Simmer, uncovered, for two hours. Add the parsnips and leeks, and simmer about an hour longer, until the meat slices easily.

Remove the bouquet garni and discard.

Remove the cloves from the onion, and place the onion, parsnips and leeks in a food processor. Add the thyme and optional butter and puree until smooth. Taste, adding the salt to bring up the flavors.

Slice the chuck roast and arrange the slices, as well as the shanks, into soup plates. Ladle the broth over the meats. Dollop the puree on the side. Garnish with thyme.

Food photo by Jackson D. Carson

Copyright Alison Anton 2009. All rights reserved.

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