Pot-au-feu is a dish of beef cooking very slowly on weak fire in a bouillon of vegetables and a bouquet garni. It's a traditional
dish of boiled-beef based French cuisine. Pot-au-feu is often considered rustic: "When she sitted, for dinner, by the round table
covered with a three-day table-coat, in front of his sour husband who discovered the soup bowl and said delighted: "Ah! the
good pot-au-feu! I don't know anything better than this", she thought about the refined dinners, glittering silverware, tapestry
covering walls of lively ancient characters and strange birds in the middle of an enchanted forest; the thought about the exquisite
dishes served in wonderful crockery, of whispered gentleman words heard with the smile of a sphinx, eating pink flesh of a trout
or wings of a partridge." (Maupassant, La parure, 1884).
On the opposite, as it contains flesh, some think of it as an expensive dish:
"-Sir, she said to the valet the second time he came after he closed the fruits bowl, won't you bring once or twice a week the
pot-au-feu because of your...
-I'll have to go to the butcher's.
-Not at all; you will make us some bouillon of poultry, farmers won't mind giving you hard work. But I'll tell Cornoiller to kill some
crows. That game gives the best bouillon on Earth." (Balzac, Eugénie Grandet, 1833)
Pot au feu