Go Back
+ servings
Making this Pot au Feu is as simple as simmering cured spareribs with veggies yet the ribs are flavorful and fall-apart tender thanks to a few easy tricks.

Sparerib Pot au Feu

Pot au Feu (literally "pot on the fire") is as simple as it sounds, involving meat and vegetables cooked in water until tender. But it's the decidedly French culinary techniques that have elevated this dish past its humble roots to become one of the most cherished classics of French cuisine.
Course Entree
Cuisine French
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Pork
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Curing Time 2 days
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 480kcal


for cured spareribs

  • 1 gram juniper berries (~10 berries)
  • 0.1 grams cloves (~2 cloves)
  • 0.3 grams allspice berries (~4 berries)
  • 2.5 grams fennel seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • ½ tablespoon evaporated cane sugar
  • 1100 grams pork spareribs

for Pot au Feu

  • 200 grams onion (cut in half)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 5 cups water
  • 500 grams potatoes (peeled)
  • 500 grams carrots (~ 4 carrots peeled and cut into large pieces)
  • 500 grams cabbage (1/2 cabbage, cut into 4 wedges)


  • Put the juniper berries, cloves, allspice and fennel seeds in a spice grinder and grind into a powder.
    Ground juniper, cloves, allspice and fennel in a spice grinder for curing spareribs for Pot Au Feu.
  • Mix the ground spices with the salt and sugar and then sprinkle evenly all over the spare ribs. Refrigerate for at least 2 days.
    Curing spareribs sprinkled with spices and a dry brine in s a stainless steel tray on a white counter. For making Sparerib Pot au Feu.
  • When you're ready to make the Pot Au Feu, put the onions cut-side up under a broiler. Broil on high until the onions are charred black on one side.
    Char-grilled onion halves on grill rack for making Pot au Feu recipe.
  • Wash the cured spareribs, to remove excess salt and the curing spices and place them in a large dutch oven in a single layer. Add the charred onion, along with the peppercorns, bay leaf, and water.
    Cured spareribs, charred onion, black pepper and bay leaf in a dutch oven filled with water for making Pot au Feu recipe.
  • Bring the pot to a boil over high heat and skim any foam that rises to the top. Repeat until there is no more foam.
  • Turn down the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and then cover and simmer until the ribs are almost tender (about 1 1/2 hours).
  • Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside. Strain the stock through a fine mesh, pressing on the solids.
    Strainer with charred onions and aromatics, removing the solids from Pot au Feu broth.
  • Wash out the pot, and return the meat and stock to it along with the carrots. Cook for another 30 minutes.
    Tender spareribs, and stock returned to Dutch oven with strained stock for making Pot au Feu recipe.
  • Add the potatoes and cabbage and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender (an additional 15-20 minutes).
    Ground juniper, cloves, allspice and fennel in a spice grinder for curing spareribs for Pot Au Feu.
  • Serve the pot au feu with crusty bread like a baguette or bâtard.


Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1941mg | Potassium: 1128mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 14005IU | Vitamin C: 47.4mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 4.7mg