It’s undeniable – French life revolves around a table. Whether a small bistro table where we gather for an apéro most days; a big table embellished with fresh flowers, crisp linens and delicacies for Sunday lunch; or a brunch consisting of cheeses, baguettes, and deliciously flaky pastries.
Whatever the season or day, much of French life is connected to food and the art de vivre around it. While we might not be able to go out for an apéro or dinner for a while, we can always feel connected to France through gourmet food.
We selected some of the most delicious dishes to cook to feel like you’re in France this winter.
A simple classic. Perfect if you have to cook for a big family, or if you are batch cooking for the week. There aren’t many people that don’t like this masterpiece of French cuisine. It’s simple to prepare and extremely comforting. You can switch the minced beef with other types of meat, like duck, or you can even make it vegetarian using a mix of mushrooms and lentils instead of meat.
There’s nothing better than a heartwarming pot-au-feu for a cozy winter night in. The beef in this dish is incredibly tender because it is slow cooked with onions, carrots, potatoes, and other mixed vegetables (and a touch of red wine, of course).
Confit de canard
If you like duck, a confit de canard accompanied by roasted potatoes is the best culinary way to reconnect with France. This is a speciality of the Gascony region in southwestern France. It’s definitely one for special occasions since it requires a lengthy preparation. But if you follow the traditional recipe, you can keep the confit for months.
Blanquette de veau
A veal ragout cooked in a lip-smacking buttery white stock—it’s easy to understand why blanquette de veau used to be the French bourgeoisie’s favorite meal. A simple butter sauce is made with mushrooms, carrots, onion, leeks, and herbs. It is perfect to serve with rice, and easy to adapt using other types of meat, like chicken, rabbit or even certain fish like sea bream.
Coq au vin
As the name suggests, wine is particularly important for this dish. Different regions of France use different wines —even Champagne—but a Bourgogne red is the most common choice. One of Julia Child’s signature dishes, coq au vin is warming, delicious, and the perfect way to spice up a family dinner.
These are all deliciously scrumptious main courses to cook for a cozy winter night in front of the latest Netflix releases, and to keep in mind for your next dinner party. We are cooking up (pun intended) a few more tasty round-ups to make sure you are prepared to add a vegetarian course, a decadent dessert, and even a salad to your feasts.
- Have you figured out What to do in Paris and Online in February yet?
- More on food! See Top Ten Must Eat Foods in Paris.
- Do you already know How to Have a French Holiday Meal at Home?
Written by Alessia Armenise for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.