Pot-au-feu in a few

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15 min


8 cups (2 L), 4 main-course servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 15 minutes


  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 small celeriac
  • 1 hot or bell pepper
  • 2 leeks
  • 500-g piece thick tender beef , such as top sirloin
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cans chicken broth , preferably lower salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 2 large sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 to 2 tbsp marsala , sherry or brandy (optional)


  • Peel and cut carrots and celeriac lengthwise into long thick strips. Seed and finely chop pepper. Cut dark green leaves from leeks and discard. Barely trim root end so leaves stay attached to white end. Cut lengthwise into quarters. Wash sand from between leaves. Trim any fat from beef.
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. When very hot, add beef and brown at least 1 minute per side. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain off oil left in pan, leaving just a film of oil and all browned bits clinging to pan. Add broth, water, vegetables, thyme and parsley. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low so soup simmers. When vegetables are almost tender, after about 5 to 10 minutes, return beef to soup. Heat 5 minutes.
  • Remove beef to a cutting board and thickly slice across grain. Meat may be rare but will cook more when returned to soup. Taste broth and add marsala and pinches of salt or grindings of black pepper, if needed. Divide vegetables and broth among heated serving bowls. Top with slices of beef and sprigs of coriander. Serve right away.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 242,
  • Protein
  • 27.8 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 16 g,
  • Fat
  • 8.2 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3.8 g,
  • Sodium
  • 1012 mg.

Minutes that is, as this full-bodied classic takes less than a half-hour. Make sure the beef you choose is at least 2 inches (5 cm) thick so it does not overcook in the soup.

Make ahead

Brown beef, then cover and refrigerate. Cook vegetables in broth until almost fork tender. Cover and refrigerate separately for up to 2 days. When ready to serve, quickly bring broth and vegetables to a boil. Add beef and heat 5 minutes. Then remove beef for slicing and continue with step 3.