Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoule 


French recipes Four hearty traditional dishes that owe more to the farmhouse kitchen than to haute cuisine, including poule au pot and duck à l’orange

Poule au pot (pictured above)

The story goes that France’s King Henry IV declared that every family in France should have the means to eat chicken every Sunday, and from this, the poule-au-pot was born.

Poule-au-pot is chicken simmered in water with vegetables and aromatics. The broth can either be served separately or with the chicken and vegetables. A spent hen – a chicken bred to lay eggs – is traditional for this dish. Tougher and more gamey-tasting than chicken bred for meat, such a hen would require a longer simmering time than is indicated below, at least two hours, to become tender.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

Beef bourguignon

Prep 15 min
Cook 2 hr 25 min
Serves 4

1 tbsp lard or oil
450g beef chuck or top round steak, not too lean, cut into large cubes
6 small onions, or shallots, peeled
150g lardons or streaky bacon, diced
tbsp flour
1 garlic clove, peeled 
1 bottle red wine, ideally a light red burgundy or red hermitage
tbsp tomato puree
1 bouquet garni – thyme, bay leaf and parsley tied in a bunch with string so it can be easily removed before serving
Salt and black pepper
12 small mushrooms
Parsley, leaves picked and chopped

Heat the lard or oil in a large pan on a high flame and fry the meat until browned on all sides, then add the onions and fry until those are also browned.

Meanwhile, in another pan, sweat the bacon in some oil or lard for a few minutes [ . . . ]

More recipes at THE GUARDIAN: Four classic French recipes, from beef bourguignon to cassoulet | Food | The Guardian

Bored appétit! How we all got sick of French food

How and what and where we eat has gone through a seismic change in the past couple of decades. Where once a plate of paella or lasagne would have been seen as quite the sophisticated statement, such dishes are now boringly mainstream freezer-cabinet staples.

If we needed any proof as to how adventurous we have become, along comes the just-released Lonely Planet Ultimate Eatlist, a compilation of the world’s top 500 eating experiences chosen by writers, chefs, bloggers and Lonely Planet staff. Their aim was to create a directory not just of the world’s great dishes, but to evaluate them in terms of the whole gastronomic experience, taking into account not just taste, but cultural importance and location.Top of the list enjoying pintxós (the Basque version of tapas) in San Sebastián, Spain.

The rest of the top ten is a brisk global buffet of laksa, sushi, dim sum, bibimbap, with a bit of Texas brisket thrown in for the outdoorsy sorts, and smørrebrød in Copenhagen for the city break types.

In the French village I visit each summer, one of the most popular restaurants has no square plates, no stiff linen napkins, no blobs or foams. It may be nestled against the walls of an eleventh century church, but its tables are Formica, the chairs mismatched, and its chirpy waiters tattoo’d and lushly bearded

This list obviously reflects the adventurous, backpacking, city-hopping and road-tripping vibe of many Lonely Planet devotees, but – quelle horreur – France doesn’t even make the top ten. There’s noPerigord truffle grated over softly scrambled eggs, a bowl of bouillabaisse on a sunny day in Marseille, nor a cassoulet on a cool Languedocien evening. Yes, a slightly random “cheese in France” is thrown in at Number 14, but it feels like their heart isn’t really in it.

Since my first French lesson with Mrs Snow (Madame la Neige) at the age of eight, I have been such a devoted Francophile that by rights there should probably be a statue of me in a square somewhere, possibly an annual parade. But – it pains me so much to say this – but something bad has happened to French food in the past 20 years [. . . ]

Source: Bored appétit! How we all got sick of French food

Meet Cédric Grolet, the French pâtissier using Instagram in a pastry revolution

In the last 20 years in France and around the world, there’s been a pastry revolution – who’s ready for the next 20?

When I was a junior chef in the early seventies, French cuisine was going through a revolution that was referred to as ‘nouvelle cuisine’. At the time it became fashionable for young chefs to dare to create new dishes and to innovate and adapt classic dishes by making them lighter, smaller, easier to digest and more attractive to the eye.

The French pâtissiers, however, took a little longer to revolutionise their gâteaux and patisseries. Until the 1990’s in most French pâtisseries the selection of petits gâteaux was identical. The norm was little cakes made with puff pastry like mille-feuilles, apple turnovers and apple tarts. Other seasonal fruit tarts had a sweet pastry base and were coated in an apricot glaze [ . . . ]

Continue at SBS: Meet Cédric Grolet, the French pâtissier using Instagram in a pastry revolution | SBS Food



Read more stories about FRENCH PASTRY on Pas De Merde | More stories on FRENCH FOOD & WINE


Where to Eat French Food in Boston

French food – especially in its most buttery and decadent forms — is a treat, and there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to a little continental magic from time to time. Who doesn’t love a plate of stinky cheese, cassoulet, or beef bourguignon?Also worth remembering: Not all French food is heavy. Provence is famous for the vegetable casserole ratatouille, you can’t think Côte d’Azur without thinking tapenade, and the favorite dish of the Marseillaise is a fish stew called bouillabaisse. You can eat a pound of butter while eating French, but you don’t have to.

Tip: While this map focuses on full-service restaurants in Boston proper, the Boston area also features a number of outstanding French bakery and cafe options worth exploring. Start with Cafe Madeleine in Boston’s South End and then move beyond the city to Ma France in Lexington (a French grocery shop with baked goods, charcuterie, cheese, and lots more), Clear Flour Bread in Brookline (serving French and Italian breads), and Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery in Winchester and Arlington.

Here’s where to eat like the French without getting on an airplane [ . . . ]

Source: Where to Eat French Food in Boston