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Boeuf au Gros Sel

From: Paul 
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:32 AM
Subject: Boeuf gros sel or Pot au feu

May I please have these two recipes or only one of them if very similar, 
Thank you, Paul 

Hello Paul,

This was not an easy search because the distinctions between the two are not so obvious. They are both boiled beef with oxtail or marrow bone and vegetables. The vegetables in both dishes are usually the same - carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, onions – although one version of the boeuf au gros sel dish has potatoes. The main distinction between the two is the way in which they are served.

“Boeuf au gros sel” is beef boiled in bouillon with vegetables and a marrow bone or oxtail. It is served as a piece of beef with coarse sea salt, pickles, mustard, and the marrow bone or oxtail and vegetables on the side.

“Pot-au-feu” is boiled beef with vegetables. It, too, has a marrow bone or an oxtail.

The primary difference between the two appears to be that pot-au feu is served like a soup. It’s sometimes called “French beef stew”.

I also came across something called “Cote de boeuf au gros sel”. This dish, however, is a prime rib of beef roasted on a bed of sea salt.

I had no success locating a good recipe in English for traditional “boeuf au gros sel”. However if you prepare a “pot-au feu” recipe and instead of serving it as a soup, you serve it with the beef as a main course and the marrow bone or oxtail and vegetables on the side, and garnish it with sea salt, then I think you will be close, if not right on.

Pot-au feu recipes:


French Food at

Bon Appetit


...on boeuf gros sel, I have something to offer straight from Parisian friends. Boeuf gros sel is a very adaptable dish, 
a Parisian pot-au-feu- they're essentially prepared the same way and served differently. Also, where pot-au-feu made 
incorporate multiple varieties of meat, boeuf gros sel sticks with the beef. In fact, boeuf gros sel can be made from 
pot-au-feu leftovers: one may use beef from a pot-au-feu, cooking fresh vegetables in reserved strained court bouillon/broth 
from the pot-au-feu. 

There are quite few different techniques for preparation, differing mostly regarding when the add the meat and at what 
temperature water/broth should be at when doing so, and ditto for the vegetables.  Some folks use beef bones and oxtail 
with some of the aromatics to make a broth first, then add the meat, some just throw it all into a pot and call it a day. 
Generally the thinking is when meat is cooked in cold water, the meat will be bland but the broth quite tasty, when cooked 
in boiling water, the meat tends to taste better and the broth less so. Vegetables are always peeled and left in large cuts 
(absolutely not diced) so as to not disintegrate during cooking. 

For the beef:
2 kg of beef meat- a combination of lean, gelatinous, and fatty cuts are preferred 
500g carrots (depending on size, about 6), peeled and cut into stalks
500g leeks (depending on size, about 3), cleaned and cut into 4-inch lengths
400 g (about 3 medium) turnips, cleaned, peeled and chopped
1-2 celery stalks, cleaned and cut into lengths
3 small onions or one large onion, stuck with 3 whole cloves 
1 bouquet garni 
3 garlic cloves
3-5 liters of water
Optional: 1-4 bone marrow, 3-4 large or 6 small firm-flesh potatoes, additional vegetables like cabbage, parsnips, rutabaga, 
celery root, or haricots verts, pre-made beef, chicken, or vegetable bouillon. Some chefs add a surprise ingredients, like 
star anise, ginger, or juniper berry to set their dish apart. 

For serving:
Coarse salt guérande
Pickles (cornichons, gherkins)
Optional: fresh herbs (parsley and chervil preferred), horseradish, green salad

A very homestyle version: In a large pot, the beef, bone marrow, carrots, turnips sections 5 to 6 cm, leeks, onions - two quartered, 
one stuck with the 3 cloves, celery, any additional vegetables, salt and peppercorns, bouquet garni, garlic, cover with water and 
cook slowly or low heat for 3 hours, skimming occasionally and removing vegetables when tender. If desired, half an hour before 
the dish is finished cooking add quartered potatoes (of the non-waxy variety, but beware potatoes that break down too quickly). 
For better flavor, you may brown the beef slightly in a small amount of oil, and use bouillon. 

A more time consuming version calls for a slightly preparation alteration: brown the beef slightly in a tablespoon of oil, season, 
add the onions pricked with cloves, garlic, bouquet garni, cover with broth/water already brought to a boil, and cook slowly for 
2.5 hours over low heat and skimming occasionally, then refrigerate overnight. A little more than an hour before mealtime, remove 
fat which will have solidified on the surface of the broth. Return the meat and broth to the stovetop and re-heat, prepare the 
vegetables as the meat/broth is coming up to a low boil. Add the vegetables and simmer until vegetables are tender. Thirty minutes 
before the end of cooking, add the bone marrow- or add it earlier if wrapped with cheesecloth.

When ready to serve, remove the bouquet garni and clove-pricked onion- discard both. Place vegetables in one dish, meat in a 
separate dish. Strain and reserve the broth for soup and risotto. A very small amount of broth may be set aside for sprinkling 
on top of slices of beef for serving, but make no mistake: with boeuf gros sel, meat and vegetables are served on plates, not 
in bowls. 

Set out the dishes of vegetables and sliced meat with bowls of pickles (cornichons, specifically), strong (forte) mustard, herbs 
and sea salt to sprinkle on top. Traditionally, a very simply green side salad of mostly leaves or a side of grated beet would 
accompany the dish.

Gizzards & Rice

From: Royce  
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2014 1:54 PM
Subject: Recipe

Do you have a recipe from A&G cafeteria utilizing Chicken Gizzards and a brown gravy that was served over white rice.  
I especially enjoyed this dish when I lived in New Orleans.

Hello Royce,

I consulted with James, who has a copy of the A&G Cafeteria recipe manual. He checked, and there is no recipe in it that fits your description. I had no success checking my usual sources for an A& G recipe like that.

The only dish that I can think of that has chicken gizzards and rice is “dirty rice.” However, it doesn’t quite fit your description because, in it’s simplest form, it is sauteed chicken gizzards and livers mixed with cooked white rice with onions and a few spices. It might be served with a gravy, but I saw no recipes that included gravy per se. It comes in a variety of forms, with some recipes calling for added pork or sausage or ground beef. If you think that the dish might have been “dirty rice,” see here for recipes: Dirty Rice Recipes


Eggs a la Tsar

From: Paul 
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 9:15 AM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: Eggs a la Tsar

The last one is “Eggs a la Tsar” the recipe appeared in Gourmet some 45 years ago (two marriages ago) and never found it. 
It contained poached eggs in beer and a home made tomato sauce.
Thank you for your research and Good Luck.

Hello Paul,

I had no success at all with “Eggs a la Tsar”. I do not have a collection of Gourmet magazines, and their online archives do not go back that far. The only mention of “Eggs a la Tsar” that I could find was your own request posted on a message board. If you know the exact issue of Gourmet in which the recipe appeared, you might be able to find a copy. I will post this request on my site in case a reader can help.


From: Janet
Subject: Request for Eggs a la Tsar
Date: Monday, September 22, 2014 1:29 PM

I have attached a recipe for Eggs for the Tsar.  It was copied from the January 1961 Gourmet Magazine.

The name is slightly different than the requested recipe but I am sure this is what Paul was looking for.



Eggs for the Tsar

Beat 1/2 cup olive oil with 1 cup tomato sauce.  Season with Tabasco sauce to taste.  Heat the sauce to the boiling point, 
carefully break in 10 eggs and simmer until the whites are firm.  Add 2 cups of beer.  Serve on hot buttered toast to 5.

Thank you very much, I had tried this recipe in 1961 and loved it, but promptly misplaced the recipe, 
I look forward to cooking it again and hope it tastes just the same 50 or so years later, 
I will keep you posted and lots of thanks to you and your reader.

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