A French pot-au-feu
|Place of origin||France|
|Main ingredient(s)||Beef, vegetables (carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, onions), cartilaginous meat (oxtail, marrowbone)|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
Pot-au-feu (French pronunciation: [pɔ.to.fø] "pot on the fire") is a French beef stew. According to chef Raymond Blanc, pot-au-feu is "the quintessence of French family cuisine, it is the most celebrated dish in France. It honours the tables of the rich and poor alike."
The cuts of beef and the vegetables involved vary, but a typical pot-au-feu contains:
- low-cost cuts of beef that need long cooking;
- some (or several) kind of cartilaginous meat, such as oxtail and marrowbone;
- vegetables: carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, and onions;
- spices: bouquet garni, salt, black pepper and cloves.
Cooking cartilaginous meat in the stew will result in gelatin being dissolved into the broth. If the stew is allowed to cool, the broth may turn into a jelly, resulting in an interesting texture. Allowing the stew to cool also allows the removal of excess fat, which floats on the surface and solidifies.
Pot-au-feu broth may be used as a soup (often enriched with rice, pasta or toasted bread), as a base for sauces, or for cooking vegetables or pasta. Ready-to-use concentrated cubes are available to make what purports to be pot-au-feu broth when water is added.
Pot-au-feu could be a continuous affair in the past, with new ingredients added as some is used; nowadays houses do not have a permanent fire in cold weather, and the dish is cooked for a specific meal.
Many countries have similar dishes with local ingredients.
See also 
- Cozido à Portuguesa
- Sancochado (Peruvian)
- Hot pot (Steamboat)
- Kig ha farz
- Lancashire hotpot
- New England boiled dinner
- Pot roast
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- "Vive La France!". Observer Food Monthly (The Observer) (112). February 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2011.