Pot-au-feu (pot on the fire) is a French beef stew. According to chef Raymond Blanc, pot-au feu is "the quintessence of French family cuisine, it is the most celebrated dish in France. It honours the tables of the rich and poor alike." The cuts of beef and the vegetables involved vary, but a typical pot-au-feu contains: Cooking cartilaginous meat in the stew will result in gelatin being dissolved into the broth. If the stew is allowed to cool, the broth may turn into a jelly, resulting in an interesting texture. Allowing the stew to cool also allows the removal of excess fat, which floats on the surface and solidifies. The dish is often served with coarse salt and strong Dijon mustard, and sometimes also with gherkins pickled in vinegar. Pot-au-feu broth may be used as a soup (often enriched with rice, pasta or toasted bread), as a base for sauces, or for cooking vegetables or pasta.
Contributions by David.Monniaux, Behemoth, and SchroCat.