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Pot Au Feu Featured Recipe

Pot au Feu – French Peasant Soup

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  • Author: Jessica Dang
  • Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Pot-au-feu, pronounced in French as /paw-toe-fuh/ and literally translating to “pot over fire”, is a peasant’s feast of root vegetables and cheap cuts of meats served with country bread and mustard.


Units Scale

For the Bouquet Garni:

  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 sprigs of parsley
  • 10 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
  • Kitchen twine
  • Cheesecloth

Meats and Vegetables:

  • 1 lb. beef brisket
  • 6 pieces of oxtail
  • 6 pieces of beef short ribs
  • 1 beef shank
  • 3 pieces of marrow bones
  • 4 links of Polish kielbasa sausages
  • 2 white onions, peeled and halved
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 small head of savoy cabbage, halved
  • 1 lb. baby potatoes

For Serving:

  • Country bread, warmed or toasted
  • Salted butter, at room temperature
  • Strong mustard or horseradish mixed with sour cream


  1. Prepare the Bouquet Garni:
    • Wrap the garlic, bay leaves, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, cloves, and black peppercorns in cheesecloth.
    • Securely tie the cheesecloth using kitchen twine to create your bouquet garni.
  2. Begin the Soup:
    • In a large stockpot, place the bouquet garni, brisket, oxtail, short ribs, shank, marrow bones, onions, carrots, and celery.
    • Cover the ingredients with water.
    • Bring the mixture to a boil. As it boils, skim and discard any scum that rises to the surface.
    • Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours. Check occasionally to ensure the meat becomes tender. Adjust the cooking time based on your tenderness preference.
  3. Add Remaining Ingredients:
    • Incorporate the kielbasa sausages, cabbage, and baby potatoes into the pot.
    • Continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour until the vegetables are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Serving:
    • Carefully transfer the meats and vegetables onto a separate tray or platter. You can cut them into smaller portions or serve them whole.
    • Taste the broth and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
    • Ladle the broth into serving bowls.
    • Serve alongside warmed country bread, room temperature salted butter, and either strong mustard or a creamy horseradish mixture.


  1. Bouquet Garni: The bouquet garni is an essential element in many French dishes. It’s a bundle of herbs and spices that infuses the dish with depth and aroma. While the given herbs are traditional for Pot au Feu, feel free to experiment with your favorite herbs.
  2. Meat Choices: The combination of different meats gives this soup its distinct hearty flavor. However, if some cuts are unavailable, you can substitute with others. Just ensure you include a bone-in cut for a rich broth.
  3. Cooking Time: The simmering time mentioned in the recipe provides tender meat. However, the exact time might vary based on the cut and quality of your meat. It’s crucial to check for tenderness and adjust accordingly.
  4. Leftovers: Pot au Feu tastes even better the next day. If you have leftovers, store the meat, vegetables, and broth separately. This will prevent the vegetables from becoming overly soft when reheating.
  5. Serving Suggestions: Traditionally, Pot au Feu is enjoyed with strong condiments like mustard or horseradish to cut through the richness. However, feel free to serve it with your choice of condiments. Consider adding gherkins or pickled onions for an added flavor dimension.
  6. Bone Marrow: If you’ve included marrow bones, once cooked, the marrow can be spread on toasted country bread as a decadent treat.
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 200 mins
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stewing
  • Cuisine: French


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 500
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 800mg
  • Fat: 24g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 38g
  • Cholesterol: 95mg
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