Pot au feu: hearty, warming beef and vegetables
Photo: Sandrine Aim
Spring is definitely on the way, but nights are chilly. This traditional French stew makes a good midweek meal for Passover - served with mashed or baked potatoes instead of vermicelli or rice. Do use a cut of meat that has some fat in it - for more flavour.
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours
A large onion
6 garlic cloves
2 small carrots
1 celery stick
2 tomatoes, quartered
6 tbsp olive oil
500g stewing beef plus a few bones if you can find them at your butcher
1.5 litres of vegetable or beef stock
Rice or vermicelli to accompany
Wash and peel the vegetables and dice into 5cm pieces.
Slice the onion.
In your pressure cooker (or in a large casserole if you don’t have a pressure cooker) fry the onion and the celery in olive oil. Add the meat and bones.
Add the tomatoes and the garlic, salt and pepper and fry for an additional few minutes.
Add the boiling stock and cook in the pressure cooker for one hour, or If using a pan, cook the stew for 2 hours minimum, uncovered, adding stock as needed to keep the meat immersed.
After one hour add the remaining vegetables and more stock if needed. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes (40 minutes in a normal pan) depending on how tender the meat and vegetables are.
Serve with vermicelli, rice or potatoes as preferred.