Beef Broth and Pot-au-Feu


by: Maria Bella

Most restaurants make beef broth out of beef bones and end up with a broth that lacks the subtle rich flavor of meat. Bones of course are cheap and meat is expensive, but if you serve the meat as a meal its easier to justify using it to make broth. Roast knuckle bones for an hour or so until well browned and then simmer gently in just enough water to cover (about a pint per pound of bones) for 12 hours. The night you make your broth, plan on serving a pot-au-feu, which is the French equivalent of a New England boiled dinner—except that no corned beef is used and nothing ever gets boiled, just gently poached. For an authentic pot-au-feu, serve the broth as a first course or use it to surround the meat, served sliced and in deep soup plates. For variety include three different cuts of beef all of them tough, flavorful cuts meant for braising or, in this case, poaching.


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serves: 1

4 rounds of beef shank (tied widthwise and lengthwise with kitchen string 3- to 4-pound chuck roast meant for pot roasting, tied widthwise and lengthwise with kitchen string)

4 pounds beef short ribs left (in one piece)

5 quarts cold water (or beef bone broth or more as needed to cover)

1 large onion (halved and peeled)

1 clove stuck into the onion

4 large carrots (peeled, cut into 3-inch sections)

2 turnips (peeled, each cut into 8 wedges)

8 small to medium leeks (greens removed, whites halved and rinsed, whites tied together with string)

large bouquet garni


French sour gherkins (cornichons)

Coarse salt


Nutrition Facts
Beef Broth and Pot-au-Feu

Servings Per Recipe: 1

Amount per Serving

Calories: 5099

  • Total Fat: 226.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 91.9 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 1461.4 mg
  • Sodium: 2508.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 157.3 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 27.8 g
  •     Sugars: 57 g
  • Protein: 580.6 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Put the meat in a large pot and pour over the broth or water to cover. Bring to a gentle simmer and skim oft any scum that floats to the top. Simmer gently for about 2 hours, regularly skimming off and discarding fat. Add the vegetables and bouquet garni and simmer for 1 hour more. Lift the meat out of the broth and slice. Serve some of each kind of meat on heated plates and spoon some of the broth around the slices or reserve it all for another use. Pass the mustard, cornichons, salt, and pepper at the table. Keeps for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

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