Pot au feu means “pot on the fire,” and if the French meant to say this dinner is flame, well, they were right on. (The French in no way meant that; the name goes back to 17th century and has nothing to do with modern slang.) You likely (hopefully!) won't be setting any pots and pans ablaze while making this, but you will be dealing some flavor explosions of the most en fuego variety: rich, meaty meatballs in a wine-and-butter sauce of carrots and onions, with creamy mashed potatoes on the side. A meal this lit has no choice to be hot as heck.
Peel and cut potatoes into chunks. Bring a small pot with potato chunks covered by 8 cups water and 2 tsp. salt to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, 14-18 minutes.
Reserve 1 cup potato cooking water. Drain potatoes in a colander and return to pot.
Set aside ⅔ cup potato cooking water for sauce. Add sour cream, ½ tsp. salt, and 2 Tbsp. remaining potato cooking water. Mash until desired consistency is reached, adding additional remaining potato cooking water 2 Tbsp. at a time if needed. Set aside.
While potato boils, prepare ingredients.
Prepare the Ingredients
Halve and peel onion. Cut halves into ¼" dice.
Peel, trim, and cut carrot into ¼" dice.
Make the Meatballs
In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, ricotta, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Form into eight meatballs, about the size of golf balls.
Sear the Meatballs
Place a medium non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil.
Add meatballs to hot pan and stir occasionally until browned all over, 4-6 minutes.
Remove meatballs to a plate. Meatballs will finish cooking at a later step.
Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Make Sauce and Finish Dish
Return pan used to sear meatballs to medium-high heat. If pan is dry, add 2 tsp. olive oil. Add carrots and onions and stir often until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes.
Add remaining potato cooking water, demi-glace, and red cooking wine. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add meatballs. Cover, and cook until vegetables are tender and meatballs reach a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees, 3-5 minutes.
Remove from burner. Swirl in butter.
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, making a bed of potatoes and placing meatballs and vegetables on top. Generously pour sauce over. Bon appétit