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Classic dishes

Paul Bocuse, French cook, by Alain Elorza.

What is or isn’t a classic French dish of course is a matter of opinion! Here at least are some of the savoury ones.


cheesy mashed potatoes


Alsatian slow baked casserole

blanquette de veau

veal in white sauce

boeuf bourguignon

beef stew simmered in red wine

bouchée à la reine

pastry filled with chicken and mushrooms


Marseille’s famous fish soup


salt cod and olive oil purée

carbonnade flamande

beef or pork with onions and beer

carpe frite

fried carp


bean heaven

choucroute garnie

sauerkraut with sausage and pork

coq au vin

chicken braised in wine sauce

cordon bleu

blue ribbon dish

croque monsieur

the ultimate ham and cheese sandwich

cuisses de grenouille

frogs’ legs

escargots à la bourguignonne

snails in garlic and butter

Kig ha farz

Breton style pot-au-feu

flamiche aux poireaux

Picardy’s creamy leek tart

fondue savoyarde

alpine cheesy business

gratin dauphinois

potatoes and cream

hachis parmentier

shepherd’s pie

homard à l’Américaine

lobster in a tomato sauce


Proust’s memory inducing little cakes

navarin d’agneau

lamb stew

pan bagnat

the ‘wet’ sandwich of Nice


onion, anchovy and olive ‘pizza’

pommes dauphine

fried potato puffs

pommes duchesse

Duchess potatoes

pot au feu

France’s national dish

poularde demi-deuil

truffled poularde

poule au pot

Henri IV’s favourite dish

poulet basquaise

Basque style chicken

poulet Vallée d’Auge

chicken and mushrooms



quiche Lorraine

cream, egg, bacon and cheese tart


melted cheese and potatoes


summer vegetables

salade niçoise

France’s most famous salad

salade périgourdine

duck gizzard salad

soupe à l’oignon

onion soup

steak tartare

raw minced beef

tarte Tatin

upside down apple tart


cheese and potato casserole

tête de veau

veal head

tripes à la mode de Caen

Normandy’s favourite tripe stew


cheese and potatoes in the Massif Central

veau aux olives

veal sautéed with olives and mushrooms

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Alain Elorza