This only needs to be simmered for 10 minutes! Although almost no water is added, the soup is packed with the juices that come out of the vegetables! The only seasoning is salt. When you use salt pork, you don't need any soup stock.
Salt pork - Recipe ID: 1623545 (or you can use bacon instead!)
100 to 150 g, thinly sliced
Broccoli (divided into florets)
1 head worth
Chinese or regular cabbage
A lot, as much as you can pack into the pot
Your favorite vegetable like celery, carrots, turnips or leek
1 clove, crushed
3 to 4
Sake or water (or white wine)
2 ladles full or enough partially cover the vegetables
For an easy way to make salt pork by just salting pork and resting it in the refrigerator, see Recipe ID: 1623545.
Slice or julienne the salt pork so it absorbs flavors easily. If you are using sliced bacon, use as-is. Roughly chop up any vegetables like carrots that don't cook through easily.
Pack a cassrole pot or a thick-sided stainless steel pot with vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped garlic, peppercorns and a little salt.
Cover the vegetables with the bacon or salt pork as if forming a lid. Add the sake or water to finish. Start heating the pot.
※You just need a little sake or water, enough to come halfway up the vegetables. This is because if you cook this dish using the juices that are exuded by the vegetables, the resulting soup will be very rich!
Cover the pot with a lid and start cooking over medium heat. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. If it looks like the pot may boil over, slide the lid over a little so the pot is just partially covered.
After simmering for 10 minutes and once the vegetables have become tender, turn off the heat. Keep the lid on and cover the pot with a bath towel or a sweater or something to keep the heat in.
Let the soup keep cooking slowly with residual heat. In about 3 hours, when the pot has cooled down quite a bit, it's done. By cooling it very slowly, the umami in the soup will become concentrated!
Heat the soup up just before eating. Taste, and season with salt. The umami is really concentrated in this soup. If you start making this before going out, or the night before, it works out well. ♪
If you add soup stock cubes or granules to this the whole soup tastes like the soup stock so you get bored of it, and you can't taste the real flavors of the meat and vegetables. So soup stock is not added.
Story Behind this Recipe
Pot au feu is a French hot pot. It's not a fancy dish at all, but in the cold of winter I feel like eating something like this. The only seasoning is salt. In France they don't add instant soup stock either.
Have you ever made pot au feu and thought there's something lacking? And you may have added instant soup stock and other things. But if you cook it in the moisture that comes out of the vegetables only, the flavor will be very rich. And by letting it cool down once, the umami (glutamates) will be concentrated. It's the same reason that curry is more delicious the next day too.