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Chef Eric Skokan’s Beef Pot au Feu

By Eric Skokan, from his new book Farm Fork Food (Kyle Books, 2014)

Taking cues from Chinese cuisine, I’ve combined meat and seafood to create a broth that resonates with deep flavor. The cauliflower adds a tender crunch and the watercress adds a spice note similar to wasabi. I look for richly marbled cuts of beef, such as short ribs, shanks, chuck and neck for this dish, as they yield a velvety smooth texture after cooking.

Serves 4


2 cups cauliflower florets
2 pounds beef chuck, or
3 pounds bone-in neck
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons sliced ginger
¼ cup minced garlic
2 quarts beef stock
One 5-inch piece dried kombu seaweed
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
2 tablespoons dried shrimp
Sea salt
12 baby onions, trimmed
12 baby carrots, trimmed
4 spring onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
½ cup watercress leaves
1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. In a medium pot over high heat, blanch the cauliflower in boiling salted water until tender.
  2. Refresh under running water or ice. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed braising pan over high heat, cook the beef in the oil until browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Toss in the onion, ginger and garlic and cook for 4 minutes more. Add the stock, seaweed, lemongrass and
    dried shrimp. Season the broth with salt. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer until the beef is
    very tender, about 6 hours. (After browning, a slow cooker may also be used to cook the beef.)
  5. Transfer the beef to a platter and, using a fine sieve, strain the broth into a clean, large pot.
  6. Return the pot to low heat and add the baby onions, carrots and beef. Poach until the vegetables are just tender. Add the cauliflower and the spring onions. Season the broth with salt and add the rice vinegar.
  7. In a small bowl, dress the watercress with the sesame oil. Season with salt and toss.
  8. Divide the beef and vegetables among four large bowls. Top each with the hot broth and watercress and serve immediately.