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french winter warmers

With winter well and truly here to stay for the next few
months, it?s that time of year where we dig into hearty comfort food designed
to warm our bones and fill our stomachs. Though French cuisine is often related
with the gourmet, France is not short of delicious dishes perfect for those
cold winter nights. Whether you?re staying in our South of France villas or
still enduring the British winter, here?s ten French winter warmers which are
definitely worth a try.

French onion soup

Well-known outside of France, French onion soup is great
either as a starter or a main. Based on a simple recipe, there are a few
variations which can transform the dish, including serving with a slice of
bread on top, as well as adding a layer of cheese.


A simple-to-prepare stew which combines various kinds of
meat, root vegetables and marrow bones, pot-au-feu tastes best after several
hours cooking on a low heat. The meat, vegetables and broth are all served in
separate dishes, alongside sides of pickled gherkins, horseradish and Dijon
mustard. Traditionally, the bone marrow is spread onto toasted pieces of bread.


Aligot is perfect for those who have a love of mashed
potato. This specialty from the Aubrac region is a mixture of mashed potato,
cream, butter, cheese and garlic, blended until smooth. Authentic Aligot
typically uses local varieties of cheese, such as Tomme d?Auvergne or Tomme de


Originating from the Alsace region, which borders Germany,
Backoeffe is a delicious and rich stew, made with mutton, beef and pork, all
marinated overnight before being slow-cooked in a casserole with a variety of
winter vegetables.


Another dish great for a slow
cooker, cassoulet is a favourite on a cold winter night for those living in the
Languedoc region, made with rustic ingredients such as sausages and different
varieties of beans.



Another well-known French dish, fondue has to be one of the
easiest as well as the most fun to prepare and eat. Among the cheeses
recommended to be melted and served with bread are Emmental, Gruyere, Beaufort
and Appenzell.

Beef bourgignon

One of the most famous
recipes to come from the Burgundy region, this hearty meat dish features cuts
of beef, pancetta, onions, carrots and celery, all served with a rich red wine


Perfect for those with a big
appetite is tartiflette, which comes from the Savoie region. Tartiflette
consists of a simple potato gratin with a few additions which transform the
flavour: onions, bacon and melted Reblochon cheese.

Gratin dauphinoise

Originating from the Dauphine
region, gratin dauphinoise is a popular side dish not only in France but
internationally too. Traditionally made with potatoes, milk and cream, many
recipes also suggest the addition of cheese.

Choucroute garnie

Another specialty from the
Alsace region, choucroute garnie has a lot in common with sauerkraut, though
instead, in typical French fashion, it?s cooked in wine. The main ingredients
in this tasty, filling dish are ham hocks, bacon, apples and onions.

Image: Hotel
du Vin & Bistro
, available under
Creative Commons

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