Laura the Gastronaut > Julia Child > Meat > Potee Normande


May 12, 2020 | Updated January 16, 2022 | Laura

*This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please see full disclosure policy for details.
*The views expressed on this blog are my own.

Julia Child Potee Normande Pot-au-Feu

✽ Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I | Julia Child ✽

Julia Child Recipes 106-108 | 420 recipes to go!

✽ Potée Normande / Pot-au-Feu [Boiled Beef with Pork, Chicken, Sausage, and Vegetables], p. 306
✽ Herbal Mayonnaise made with Soft-boiled Eggs [Sauce Alsacienne / Sauce de Sorges], p. 93
✽ Cream Enrichment - Cream Sauce [Sauce Créme - Sauce Suprême], p. 59


✽ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ You can buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I which contains these recipes here. (affiliate link)

The purpose of this Julia Child section of my blog is to document my journey of learning how to cook. To show my successes, my failures, and what I learned along the way.

Since I didn't create these recipes (if only!), I do not post exact amounts of ingredients or word-for-word instructions. If any of these recipes spark your interest, I highly recommend you buy Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (affiliate link). It's a great investment and learning tool and contains hundreds of classic recipes.

I hope that you enjoy reading my thoughts, learn something new, and leave inspired to try a new recipe. Bon appétit!


Butter Count & Cost: Pot-au-Feu with Herbal Mayonnaise & Cream Sauce

✽ Butter Count: +4 TB

✽ Cost: $103.23 [~$7.37 per serving]

Check out the total Julia Child butter count & cost here!

→ Looking for a different Julia Child recipe? Here's a list of all of the completed and pending Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipes!

What. A. Recipe.

This recipe was probably one of my most dreaded recipes thus far. One, it makes a TON of food. Two, it’s boiled meat.

However, the description for this recipe in the book is the best. “It is brought to the table in its kettle or a reasonable facsimile, looking for all the world like a plain pot-au-feu. The host starts the proceedings as usual by spearing out the beef and placing it on a platter. Then he finds a sausage, and after that a big piece of pork. Finally, to wild acclaim, he brings out a chicken.”

Overall, this meal was okay. That’s all I’ll give it. It does give off the feel of a Sunday lunch meal and made a perfect shelter-in-place Easter dinner for my husband and I. The sauces (as always) were the best part of the meal. Also it was a joy to create meals throughout the week with the tremendous amount of meat that was leftover.

Potee Normande Recipe: Questions

✽ What is potée / pot-au-feu?

Potée is a French term that traditionally refers to any meal that was cooked in an earthenware pot. This meal consisted most commonly of pork and vegetables (cabbage and potatoes). There's many different combinations of meat and vegetables that exist.

Pot-au-feu is a French dish consisting of boiled beef and vegetables. Pot-au-feu is known as the national dish of France! The ingredients can vary quite a bit, but the most common are beef cuts, cartilaginous meat, vegetables (carrots, turnips, parsnips, celery, onions), and seasonings.

The ingredients included in a pot-au-feu may vary with season and region. Poule au pot, for instance, is only made with chicken and vegetables.

✽ Pot-au-Feu History

There is no written evidence of pot-au-feu until the year 1673. However, it probably existed well before that time.

In the 17th century, 'pot-pourri' was common in France which was cooking all the meat and vegetables together in the same pot for many hours.

In the Etymologic dictionary of the French language (1829), it was made clear that pot pourri was the same dish as pot-au-feu. In it was written, "Pot pourri. The name our fathers gave to the pot-au-feu."

✽ What beef cuts are best for pot-au-feu?

According to the cookbook, rump pot roast is the best option followed by sirloin tip, bottom round, chuck pot roast, and brisket.

✽ How do you serve pot-au-feu?

The vegetables are drained from the pot, and arranged on a platter, moistened with some of the stock. The meats can either be carved at the table or carved in the kitchen and arranged on a platter.

The cooking stock is then strained, degreased, and seasoned, poured into a bowl, and passed alongside the prepared sauces.

Suggested sauces include hard-boiled egg mayonnaise, thickened heavy cream flavored with mustard and tomato, tomato sauce, and stock enriched with cream.

Looking for more Julia Child meat recipes to read about?

→ Check out all of the meat recipes that I've completed so far!

Fun Facts about Mayonnaise

✽ What is mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise is an emulsion made by slowly beating oil into egg yolks. An emulsion is a combination of two liquids that do not usually mix. However, with constant whisking you are able to incorporate the oil slowly into the eggs.

✽ What is mayonnaise made of?

The primary ingredients for mayo are vinegar or lemon juice, egg yolks, and oil. Sometimes mustard is also added.

The mayo recipe I made this time around was a bit different. It used soft-boiled egg yolks beaten with mustard and vinegar. Then the stock from the pot-au-feu is beaten into the mixture along with shallot, capers, parsley, and the cooked egg whites.

✽ What sauces use mayonnaise as their base?

Tartar sauce, ranch dressing, remoulade sauce, and Thousand Island all are mayo-based.

How to Make Pot-au-Feu (Potee Normande)

✽ Step 1: Prepare Meats

To begin this recipe, you will need a BIG pot because everything is going in! Each item goes in a different times depending on how long they cook in order for everything to finish cooking at the same time.

The cookbook lists many different cuts of meat that you can use. The meats are beef, pork, sausage, and a stewing hen.

A stewing hen is a chicken that no longer lays eggs. They require a longer cooking time in order to become tender. I, personally, did not care for it. Maybe I didn’t do it right- which may very be the reason. I found that it was tough and difficult to eat.

The fat is trimmed off the pork and beef, each piece of meat is tied so it will hold its shape, and the chicken is trussed. It is then recommended that each piece of meat have a long piece of string tied to it so you can lift it up during the cooking process and test its doneness.

Boiled Beef with Pork, Chicken, Sausage, and Vegetables Julia Child

✽ Step 2: Prepare Vegetable Garnish

Along with the meat, vegetables and a vegetable garnish will be added to the pot as well. The vegetable garnish is placed inside cheesecloth bundles and includes carrots, onions, turnips, and leeks. These vegetable are the ones that you will actually serve your guests. The cookbook recommends 1-2 of each vegetable per person.

Julia Child Potee Normande

✽ Step 3: Add Beef & Soup Vegetables

The soup vegetables include carrots, onion stuck with a whole clove, parsnips, celery, leeks, and a large herb bouquet (parsley, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, peppercorns). These vegetables are used to flavor the stock and meats- not to be served.

Potee Normande Julia Child

All of this food is added to the kettle and covered with meat stock. Simmer over moderate heat for about an hour and skim, as needed.

✽ Step 4: Add Pork & Chicken

Next up on the agenda is adding in the pork and whole chicken. It continues on its simmering journey for 1-2 more hours.

✽ Step 5: Add Vegetable Garnish & Sausage

The vegetable garnish and seasonings are added into the pot, and it all simmers for a couple more hours. The sausage should be added in 30 minutes before serving.

Boiled Beef Julia Child

Julia Child Chicken

✽ Step 6: Make Sauces

How to Make Herbal Mayonnaise Made with Soft-boiled Eggs

✽ Step 1: Soft-Boiled Eggs

I decided to make herbal mayonnaise which was the right choice. This was my first time to make homemade mayonnaise, and it turned out absolutely delicious just like everybody on the internet says it is.

This mayonnaise is made with soft-boiled eggs. This takes about 3 minutes of boiling to get the perfect consistency.

✽ Step 2: Make Emulsion

After whisking egg yolks until thickened, seasonings and vinegar are beaten into them. Slowly oil is beaten into the egg yolk mixture drop-by-drop.

Egg yolks are able to absorb about ¾ cup each. If you exceed this, your yolks will break down and the sauce will become thin or curdle. Julia suggest beginners not to exceed ½ cup per yolk to be on the safe side.

✽ Step 3: Add Rest of Ingredients

This mayo then has a bit of the meat stock from the pot-au-feu, green onions, capers, minced herbs, and the chopped cooked egg whites mixed into it.

How to Make Cream Sauce

✽ Step 1: Simmer Cream with Bechamel Sauce

I also made a sauce crème which was also the right decision. A sauce crème is a béchamel sauce that has cream added to it. First, the béchamel sauce is made by melting butter over low heat. Flour is blended in, and it is all stirred together. Now you have a white roux! I used my cooking stock from the kettle as the liquid and beat it in vigorously. Set it all over moderate-high heat, boil for a minute, and season.

Now the cream is beat in by the spoonful while it is all simmering.

✽ Step 2: Add Butter

Right before serving, beat in the enrichment butter. How could this not be good?? These two sauces really elevated this meal.

✽ Step 7: Serve

You can be extra and pull out the meat one-by-one at the table in front of your guests like mentioned above or you can carve it in the kitchen and place it on a platter garnished with parsley. The cooking stock is strained, degreased, and seasoned and passed along with the other sauces.

If you decide to make a big pot of boiled meat, make sure you have these two sauces to accompany it. I, for one, will not be boiling meat any time soon.

Boiled Beef with Pork, Chicken, Sausage, and Vegetables

Julia Child Boiled Beef with Pork, Chicken, Sausage, and Vegetables

*This blog, Laura the Gastronaut, and this post were/are not endorsed or supported by Julia Child or The Julia Child Foundation.

pinterest button

Category: Julia Child, Meat Cuisine: French
Keywords: pot au feu recipe, boiled beef recipe, julia child boiled beef, classic french recipe, julia child pot au feu recipe

✽ Did you make this recipe too?
→ Let me know by leaving a comment below and sharing on Instagram. Tag @laurathegastronaut and hashtag it #laurathegastronaut.

  • tiktok laurathegastronaut
  • instagram laurathegastronaut
  • pinterest Laura the Gastronaut
  • youtube Laura the Gastronaut
  • facebook Laura the Gastronaut
  • twitter Laura the Gastronaut

More Beef Recipes:

Beef Saute with Fresh Tomato Sauce (this sauteed beef dish is so amazing made with olives, tomatoes, and herbs)
Steak au Poivre (deliciously cooked steak covered with peppercorns)
Hamburgers in Cream Sauce (the ultimate tasty comfort food)
→ Check out all of the completed Julia Child beef recipes!

✽ You can find this recipe and all the other Julia Child recipes I make in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I (affiliate link).
→ Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I was written by Julia Child who co-authored with Simone Beck & Louisette Bertholle and was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1961.

✽ Check out my Julia Child Recipe Checklist to see a list of all my completed and pending recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

Bon appétit!

May 12, 2020 by Laura Ehlers

*This Potee Normande - Pot-au-Feu blog post may contain some Amazon affiliate links. These link to products that I personally use and recommend. If you purchase anything using my links, it will not cost you anything. It will though give some financial support which helps me keep this blog running. Thank you for reading my blogs and your continued support.