Recipes for a taste of France

25 August 2020

If you're a fan of French cuisine we've got two great tasting dishes for you to try at home. Bon appetit!

Beef bourgignon

Our recipe for this most classic of French dishes is lower in fat that most but still delivers on taste and it's super-easy to prepare.

Nutritional highlights

Beef is naturally rich in protein which helps muscle growth and supports muscle mass. Beef provides the body with a good source of Iron and vitamins B6 and B12 which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue.

Ingredients

(Makes 4 servings)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours

3 tbsp of seasoned flour
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped
250g mushrooms, sliced
650ml beef stock
250ml red wine
500g braising steak4 carrots2 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp parsley

Directions

Heat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140/ gas mark 3.

Sprinkle the seasoned flour over the beef making sure it's fully covered.

Put the olive oil in a large casserole pan over a medium-high heat and fry the beef in batches until golden brown but not cooked through. It's important not to overcrowd the pan or the meat will steam and you won't get the same colour or flavour from this stage.

Once each batch is browned, remove it to a bowl.

When all the meat's done, turn the heat down to medium and in the same pan fry the onions, carrots and mushrooms for around 10 minutes, until the onion turns golden brown. You may need to add a little more oil to stop the vegetables from sticking

Now return the meat to the casserole and add the beef stock, wine, thyme and parsley. Cover (with the casserole lid or a double layer of foil) and place in the oven for 2 hours until the meat is nice and tender.

Serve with brown rice or sweet potato mash.

Top tips/healthy swaps

For a vegetarian option, lentils and beans can be used as the main source of protein. Start by frying the vegatables until golden, then add the lentils and/or canned or pre-soaked beans along with rest of the ingredients, before placing in the oven.

Easy ratatouille

Packed full of vegetables, this meat-free dish is a great way to boost your 5-a-day intake and can be served as a main dish or as a side. 

Nutritional highlights

Aubergines are an excellent source of fibre. They are also a good source of vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium. The other main ingredient courgettes also have a brilliant nutritional value, they contain very few calories and have a high-water content. They also boost the bodies immune system and high in Vitamin C.

Ingredients

(Makes 4 servings)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

2 red onions
4 garlic gloves
2 aubergines
3 courgettes
3 red peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
6 ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp basil
2 tbsp fresh thyme
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

Peel and cut the onions into wedges and chop the aubergines, courgettes and peppers into roughly 2.5cm chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and place over a medium heat.

Add garlic, onion and thyme and to the pan and saute for around 10 minutes until softened.

Add the aubergines, courgettes and peppers to the pan and fry for 5 minutes then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and basil and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes.

Serve with fresh bread or steamed rice.

Top tips/healthy swaps

Ratatouille is a fantastic accompaniment for grilled, roasted or pan fried lamb, chicken or white fish.

Stir though some rinsed de puy lentils before it goes in the oven (or add drained tinned green lentils ten minutes before the end of cooking tiime) for added protein.

Use it to top a jacked potato, with or without some grated cheese, or try with pan fried halloumi, fresh rocket with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing and a sprinkle of toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Further information

You can find lots more expert-led information on diet and nutrition, plus recipes that pack a healthy punch, in our diet and nutrition hub.

Or why not try some more classic dishes from some of our favourite Europpean holiday destinations:

A taste of Spain

A taste of Greece