Pot-au-Feu (Pot Roast)

French pot roast is one of the pillars of French gastronomy. Alexandre Dumas, the famous French novelist who wrote The Three Musketeers, famously said it had to be cooked more than 7 hours. And he was right!

Serves: 12Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 7 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 12


  • 1 lb. beef shank, in 2" chunks
  • 1 lb. beef roast, in 2" chunks
  • 1 lb. oxtail
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 leeks, green parts cut off and chopped
  • 2 medium turnips, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 lb. bone marrows (ask your butcher to cut them every 2")
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped


  • Fill a very large French oven, or cooking pot, with cold water. Add the beef shanks, the beef roast, and the oxtail. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Spoon out the foam that appears on the surface. When the water boils, cover and reduce the heat to its lowest. Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Stud the peeled onion with the cloves and add it to the pot. Add the bay leaf, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, and spoon out the foam again. When it has boiled again, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 3 hours.
  • Add the carrots and leeks to the stock. Simmer 2 hours, then add the bone marrow and the potatoes. Simmer 1 hour more. Remove bay leaf.