Three French recipes to help you through the winter!
Winter and the cold weather is finally here, so it’s time to cook and enjoy traditional winter dishes with family or friends!
Here are three traditional French recipes to warm and comfort you this winter!
The gratin dauphinois
The gratin dauphinois is a dish originating in Grenoble and a popular dish within the Alps, in south-eastern France. A great classic of French cuisine, this is an excellent accompaniment for meat but it can also be enjoyed alone.
Ingredients (4 persons)
-1 Kg of potatoes
-30 cl of full cream
-50 ml of milk
-A clove of garlic
You can add other ingredients, but generally, cheese, eggs or onions are not in the traditional recipe of this gratin! If you want more flavour, try using bay leaf and thyme.
-Peel the potatoes, chop them into very thin slices (without washing them!).
-Preheat oven to 200 °C.
-Butter your baking dish and rub the bottom of the dish with a halved (cut) garlic clove.
-Put your potato slices in the dish, add salt, pepper and nutmeg.
-Cover the potatoes with cream and milk, add salt and pepper again.
-Add few knobs of butter on the top.
-Cook in the oven for 60-90 minutes.
To check the cooking, you can plant a knife in the dish. When the potatoes are melting and when the top of the gratin is golden, you can remove the dish from the oven.
You can also sample this delicious dish whilst learning French at our school in Chamonix!
This mountain recipe is originally from Haute-Savoie. The tartiflette contains Reblochon de Savoie, potatoes, onions and bacon (lardons).
Ingredients (4 persons)
-1Kg of potatoes
-200g of bacon (lardon)
-1 reblochon (French cheese from the Alps)
-2 tablespoons oil
-Preheat oven to 180 °C.
-Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut into thin slices, put them in a large pot of cold water, and add salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, the potatoes have to stay firm. Drain and set aside.
-Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onions (cut into thin strips).
-Add the bacon and cook for a few more minutes.
-In a gratin dish, alternate potato layers and layers of onions and bacon. Add salt and pepper.
-Cut the reblochon in half and place the slices over the potatoes.
-Cook in the oven for about 30 min. When the top is golden, you can remove the dish from the oven.
Annecy, the capital of the Haute-Savoie region is the perfect place to try the original Tartiflette!
Cassoulet is a typical dish from the south-west of France, consisting of beans and meat. It takes its origins from the town of Castelnaudary, near Toulouse, the world capital of cassoulet.
Ingredients (4 persons)
– 400g of dried beans
– 2 confit duck/goose legs
– 4 pieces of 80g sausage pork
– 4 pieces of 50g of pork (hocks, shoulder or chest)
– 250g pork rind
– 100g of salt pork
– Few of pork bones or poultry carcass
– Cloves of garlic
– 1 onion and 1 carrot
First, prepare the beans:
-Let soak your beans overnight in a cold water.
-Drain the beans then put them in a saucepan with 3 liters of fresh water. Boil for 5 minutes.
-Empty water from the saucepan and set the beans aside.
Then prepare the broth with beans:
-Fill the saucepan again with three liters of water. Add pork rind (cut into wide strips), pork bone (or poultry carcass), onion and carrot. Add salt and pepper. Cook for one hour, strain the broth and collect the rinds.
-In the filtered broth, cook the beans to a boil for 1 hour so that they are soft.
Whilst waiting for your beans, take the opportunity to cook the meat:
-In a large saucepan, cook the duck legs (or goose) on a low heat and set aside.
-Keep the remaining fat to brown the sausages, then set aside also.
-Next brown the pork pieces. They should be golden. Set them aside and keep the remaining fat for later.
-Drain the beans but keep the warm broth.
-Grind the garlic with the salt pork, then add the beans.
Proceed to assemble the cassoulet:
-Cover the bottom of your deep dish with pieces of rind
-Add about a third of beans.
-Add the meat and pour in the remaining beans.
-Put the sausages amongst the beans.
-Pour hot broth over it all.
-Add pepper and add a tablespoon of the fat you previously kept.
Finally, the cooking:
-Put the dish in the oven at 150°C. Cook for 2 to 3 hours.
-During the cooking, a crust should form on the top. Press it down several times. Traditionally, press it down 7 times.
-When you see that the top starts to dry, add a few tablespoons of broth or water.
This dish should served hot. If you prepare it the day before, warm it in the oven at 150°C for about an hour.
Learn more about cooking this dish on a language and cookery course at our French school in Toulouse!
Let’s go… Enjoy!