Category Archives: French

Beef Bourguignon/ French Pot Roast

A few days ago, I bought a cheap bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from the local supermarket, with the initial intention of drinking it as a casual dinner wine. It turned out to be pretty bad for that purpose, and simply wasn’t going to be enjoyable, so i decided to use it to cook.

This is a simple version of boeuf bourguignon, which is a classic French dish of beef stewed with red wine and beef broth. A few things to keep in mind when preparing this dish:

  1. Leaner cuts of meat is typically used for this dish. In this case, we used chuck roast
  2. Because a lean cut is used, a bit of fat is needed when searing the beef. Bacon is used for this purpose and helps provide a nice caramelized crust to the beef before the braising process
  3. A long cooking time is needed in order to ensure that the meat is tender. If braising on the stove top, it is important to ensure that there is sufficient liquid to avoid food sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you find that the liquid is drying up and there hasn’t been sufficient cooking time, you may need to add in extra broth or water

That’s all there is to it! While the cooking time is long, you really only need to check up on it once in a while, so it’s not actually all that much effort and you can be doing something else while it cooks. Bon appetit!


  • 2 strips bacon, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb chuck roast, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1/3 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 1/3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1.5 cups frozen pearl onions and peas
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, stems removed
  1. Preheat a large skillet or nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.  Set aside and leave pan on the heat.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, pepper and beef in a small bowl, until the pieces are lightly covered with flour.  Add the beef to the hot pan and cook until all sides are golden brown.
  3. Remove the beef and add to a slow cooker.  When all the beef has been browned, add 1 cup wine to the hot pan and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.  Pour over the beef, along with the rest of the wine, the broth, the tomato paste, bay leaves, and bacon pieces.
  4. Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 3 hours, until the beef is tender and falls apart with pressure from a fork.  In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add, carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms.  Right before serving, add the peas and simmer for a few minutes to cook through.  Discard the bay leaves.
  5. Serve the stew by itself or over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, rice or with french bread.
Source:  Cook This, Not That! with modifications.

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Broccoli Potato Gratin

Broccoli Potato Gratin is a classic French dish that is usually served as a side dish. The bread crumbs and cheese melts forms a delicious browned crust over the soft and creamy potatoes inside.  The combination of garlic, thyme and nutmeg provides the sauce with flavor and fragrance. The broccoli adds a bit a crunchiness to complete the perfect balance of textures to the dish.


  • 1 potato, cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup soymilk or milk
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Blanch broccoli for 40 seconds and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, chicken stock, and soy milk.  Whisk out any lumps.
  4. In a saucepan, add butter, garlic, shallots and onion.  Saute over medium heat until translucent and add the thyme.  Pour the flour mixture to the pan.  Add Dijon mustard and nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place potato and broccoli in a 9.5 x 6.25 in baking pan.
  6. Pour the sauce over.  Top with cheese and breadcrumbs.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees.  Then broil until cheese browns, about 2-3 minutes.



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Coq au vin – Chicken in Red Wine

Coq au vin is a classic French dish with chicken, wine and vegetables. I love the preparation and the wonderful smells of wine and chicken while it was slowly cooking.  The chicken falls off the bones, and the sauce was rich and flavorful. This dish was well worth the time and effort.


  • 1-2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 1/2 chicken thighs/drumsticks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions, or 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, slices
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Cook the bacon in a wide cast-iron skillet or saute pan until crispy.  Remove bacon and set aside
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Add to the pan and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until well browned all over.  (Work in batches if you must; crowding will prevent it from properly browning.)
  3. Transfer the chicken to the pot.  Pour the wine over the chicken, then add the reserved bacon, the stock, onions, bay leaves, and garlic, along with another good pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours (or in a slow cooker; cook on low for most of the day or high for 2 hours), until the meat is falling off the bone.  In the final 30 minutes, stir in the mushrooms and allow them to just cook through.
  4. When ready to serve, cook the butter and flour in a saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute.  Ladle in 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid and cook until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Serve the chicken with the onions and mushrooms, then drizzle over the thickened sauce.

Source: Cook This, Not That with a few modifications.


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