Pot-au-Feu or Boiled Dinner

When my grandmother made what she called “Boiled Dinner”, it was her attempt to fuse her French cooking with something that was familiar to her American husband and his family. Nearly every culture in the world has some version of a boiled meat dinner. The results of her work were something that has remained in my memory; buttery onions that melted in my mouth, carrots that were a burst of both sweet and savory in every bite and a broth worthy of baguette sans butter.  I think her secret was copious amounts of garlic boiled with the beef and a dash of red wine.


2 medium pot roasts, well marbled and left whole

6 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved

1 yellow onion, roughly chopped in large pieces

8 carrots, peeled and halved

generous amounts of salt and pepper to taste

1 cup wine

Place all ingredients in a large pot in the stove.  For added flavor, insert additional cloves of garlic directly into the meat.  When all ingredients are combined in the pot, add water some that roughly 3/4 of the contents of the pot are submerged.  Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to the lowest flame and let cook 4 hours.  Please note: this recipe is also excellent in the slow cooker or crock pot.  Cook 6 to 7 hours on low.  Perfect for a good meal after a long day, or a relaxing Sunday.  My grandmother served this with white potatoes but I find that sautéing mushrooms in garlic and olive oil in a separate pan and pouring them over the meat as a side dish is my preference.IMG_0282

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