Food and Cuisine in Beaujolais

Beaujolais lies at the crossroads of some of France's richest agricultural areas. It is a region that goes from grapes on the foothills to flat river plains in the east producing wheat and corn and over the river Saône to the Alps - the home of goats cheeses and dairy produce. In the west are the hills of the Central Massif -  the home of cattle and goats. The rolling foothills are interspersed with pockets of woodlands which are home to game such as rabbits, deer and wild boar, and smallholdings producing fresh vegetables, chickens and pigs.

Everything here inspires good eating and hospitality. Truly the food is excellent!

 

About Beaujolais Food

Chickens are found all over France and the classic Coq au Vin (chicken stewed in wine with mushrooms, bacon, onion, herbs and garlic) is never bettered than when made with a fresh young Beaujolais wine.

Local charcuteries highlight sausages and ham products in every shape and form, while veal and chicken are also used in processed products . Look for the saucisson de Lyon, a sausage that can be confusing as it can be either an air-dried sausage or a boiled sausage! Boudin Blanc (white sausage) can be made with either veal or chicken and is usually excellent. Do try the andouillettes (smoked sausages) and sausages and salami stuffed with pistachio nuts and sometimes truffles.

For the bolder gourmets there is a wide range of offal dishes from pork and beef including tripe, brains and liver, or for the less brave then try the wide assortment of chicken, duck and goose liver and giblet dishes.

The Beaujolais Rouge wines are ideal matches for all charcuterie, red meat, game, duck, cheese and chocolate desserts.

In Beaujolais chefs and patisseries delight in their creations. For desserts try bugnes (rum flavoured shortcake sprinkled with icing sugar), or fraises au vin (strawberries soaked in Beaujolais red with orange juice and cassis). 

Entree - Salade aux Joues de Porc et Oeuf Poché 
(Salad of Pork Cheeks with a poached egg on lettuce)


 

Eating at a Beaujolais Village Restaurant

Every village has one or more restaurants which range from bars selling simple snacks to go with beer, wine and coffee to grand styled dining. Between these are endless cafes that still have fixed price Plat du Jour blackboard menus. We have had very pleasant 3-course lunches with menus that have included a number of options at each course from 12€ per person up to 40€ per person with a number around the 15€ mark. 

For example, Auberge Gourmande, in the village of Le Bois d'Oingt (village of roses). Today’s blackboard menu announces that you get an entrée, main and dessert all for the princely sum of 13.50 euros per person, plus wine.

 

 THE LUNCH

 Blackboard menu - with evidence of daily changes              

 


Beaujolais food

 

 

 

Entree - Salade aux Joues de Porc et Oeuf Poché

(Salad of Pork Cheeks with a poached egg on lettuce)


 

 

 

 

 Main - Dos de Cabillaud aux Petite Julienne de Legumes et Timbale de Riz 

(Fillet of Cod accompanied by a julienne of carrots and courgettes with moulded rice)



 

 

 

Dessert - Sorbet
(Homemade sorbet of strawberry & vanilla with red currants)


 


Regional Specialties


 

Assiette de Charcuterie aux Chévre

(assorted meats and goat cheese)

A plate of assorted pork and other meat products including sausages (andouillettes - smoked sausages) and ham, and goats cheeses. Often served as a pre-dinner or first course, along with bread and tapenades



 

Au Confit de Tomato et Sardines aux Chévre
(Sardine, Tomato and Goats Cheese Pizza)

A bread base with tomato concentrate topped with fresh sardine fillets, slices of goats cheese and capsicum tapenade. 


 

Gras-Double Gratinées (Tripe with Gruyère cheese topping)

Serve 4

Ingredients
3 carrots - diced
2 onions - chopped finely
50cl Beaujolais Red or Blanc
2.5 kg tripe - cut in strips 15mm x 30 mm
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs flour
1 kg tomatoes - peeled, deseeded & chopped
100cl beef stock
Herbes du Provence, dried mushrooms, bay leaf, salt and pepper
2 large potatoes - peeled & sliced 5 mm thick
100gm Gruyère cheese - grated


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.

     

  2. Brown carrots and onions in butter and oil in pan

     

  3. In a bowl mix flour & tomato paste with half the wine. Add tomatoes, beef stock and herbs and rest of wine. Mix. Add tripe, mushrooms, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Place all ingredients in large covered casserole and put in oven for 45 minutes. Stir once during cooking.

     

  4. While tripe is cooking, prepare gratinées. Brush potato slices with olive oil and place on oven tray and bake at 200°C for 30 minutes, top with cheese and grill until light brown.

To serve: 
Serve on heated plates topped with potato slices & gruyere cheese. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with a green salad & fresh bread. And of course, a good Beaujolais Cru wine!

Chef’s tips

  1. Forget all you have been told about tripe dishes - this is delightful
  2. Insist on fresh bleached tripe with a honeycomb structure
  3. This dish can be prepared days before and frozen if necessary BUT don't over-cook