Have A Bastille Day Feast With These Classic French Recipes

Bon appétit.
You'll be (gastronomically) back in Paris in no time.
You'll be (gastronomically) back in Paris in no time.

It's July 14, aka Bastille Day, aka the best time to revisit old Euro travel memories and eat so much French food you could explode.

The annual French National Day actually commemorates the Fête de la Fédération of 1790, which celebrated the unity of French people one year after troops stormed the Bastille, a fortress and prison associated with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy.

Each year the nation celebrates with beautiful feasts, blue-white-red fireworks, fine wine and military parades.

To help get amongst it, The Huffington Post Australia collected six French recipes from top French restaurants and chefs around Australia -- from onion soup to sweet crèpes -- so you can have a feast of your own.

1. Grandpa Henri's onion soup

From Bistrot Gavroche

Serves four.


  • 500g brown onions, sliced finely
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices Comté cheese
  • 4 large toasted bread croutons


1. In a large pot on medium heat, sweat the onions and garlic in butter for 20 minutes until caramelised. Add white wine to the pot to deglaze and then add the thyme and bay leaf. Pour chicken stock over and simmer for a further 90 minutes.

2. Season with salt and pepper, then pour the soup into four bowls. Place the bread crouton on top and add the Comté cheese. Place soup bowls underneath a grill until the cheese is melted.

Melted cheese on top is an absolute must.
Melted cheese on top is an absolute must.

2. Entrecôte frites with Béarnaise sauce

From Bistrot Gavroche

Serves one.


  • 20g shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 40ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 20ml water
  • 70ml champagne vinegar
  • 1 spring tarragon, finely chopped
  • 400g clarified butter, room temperature, plus extra for steak
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 250g Scotch fillet


1. To make the Béarnaise sauce, add the shallots to a saucepan with the white wine vinegar, bay leaf and thyme and reduce on medium heat until there is no more liquid. Cool the shallot reduction and then add the egg yolks, water, champagne vinegar and tarragon. In a warm bain-marie (double boiler), whisk the egg yolk mixture until foamy and emulsified. Slowly add the clarified butter to the mixture and continue whisking until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note: This will make enough for six serves.

2. Heat up a frying pan on high heat and add the extra clarified butter. Season the steak with salt and pepper, then sear the scotch fillet for three minutes each side, to cook to medium rare. Rest the meat for five minutes and then serve with Béarnaise sauce and French fries.

Steak and chips, but fancy.
Steak and chips, but fancy.

3. Steak tartare with quail egg and toasted brioche

From Ananas Bar and Brasserie

Serves four.


  • 50ml olive oil
  • 50g tomato ketchup
  • 37g Dijon mustard
  • 2ml lemon juice
  • 8ml Tabasco
  • 340g very fresh beef tenderloin, free of sinew
  • 20g eschallots, finely chopped
  • 20g baby capers, finely chopped
  • 20g cornichons, finely chopped
  • 8g chives, finely copped
  • 8g Maldon sea salt
  • 6g freshly cracked black pepper


  • 4 quail egg yolks
  • 2g Espellette pepper flakes
  • 12 watercress sprigs
  • 5ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices toasted brioche


1. For the dressing, add the ketchup, mustard, lemon juice and Tabasco into a small mixing bowl and whisk. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until you have formed an emulsion. Transfer the mixture into a container and refrigerate.

2. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the beef tenderloin into even 5mm dices.

3. To serve, add all the ingredients with 20g of the dressing into a medium mixing bowl, and mix together with a spoon until well combined. Using a metal ring mould, place the tartare mixture evenly among four serving plates.

4. Make a small indentation in the middle of the tartare and place the quail egg yolk inside. Lightly dust the outside of the plates with the pepper flakes, then stand three sprigs of watercress evenly around the tartare. Finish with a small drizzle of olive oil around the plate and serve with the toasted brioche.

This classic, fresh dish is French cuisine at its best.
This classic, fresh dish is French cuisine at its best.

4. Duck confit with Brussels sprouts, speck and mustard cream

By Guillaume Brahimi for Bulla Dairy Foods

Serves four.


Duck confit:

  • 4 Duck Maryland (approx. 1 kg)
  • 15g fine table salt
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced finely)
  • 750g duck fat


  • 50g Brussels sprouts
  • 100g speck, cut into fine batons
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 20g seeded mustard
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 200ml crème fraiche
  • 300ml cooking cream
  • ¼ bunch parsley, roughly chopped


Duck Confit:

1. Prepare duck the day before. In a bowl, mix salt, thyme and garlic. Place duck legs on a tray flesh side up and sprinkle on a light, even coating of the salt, garlic and thyme mixture. Cover and allow to cure for 12 hours in the refrigerator.

2. After 12 hours, rinse the salt from the duck legs and pat them dry.

3. Preheat oven to 130°C. Melt the duck fat in a braising pot. Once melted add the duck legs, cover with lid and place in the oven. Cook in oven for three hours or until meat just comes away from bone. Remove duck from the fat, set aside and allow to cool.

4. Preheat the pan and add duck skin side down until golden and crisp. Turnover and sear the other side.


1. Trim the outer leaves of Brussel sprout and the bottoms. Place in a pot and cover with chicken stock and bring to the boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until just soft. Remove from liquid and cool, slice in half and set aside.

2. Place a pan on medium-low heat, add oil and shallots and cook until translucent. Add speck, sauté and then add cream. Reduce cream by half, then add the sprouts to reheat. When hot, add mustard, crème fraiche and parsley. Season to taste and serve.

5. Crèpes Suzette

From Bistrot Gavroche

Serves eight.


Crepe mix:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 10 eggs
  • 80g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 285ml milk
  • 40ml grapeseed oil
  • Butter, extra

Suzette sauce:

  • Juice of 10 oranges
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 shot Grand Marnier, plus extra
  • 1 shot Cointreau
  • 20g cornflour
  • 75g butter
  • 2 oranges, cut into segments


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, sugar and salt. Add milk and oil and whisk until smooth. Let the batter rest for four hours.

2. Then, heat a 6-inch crêpe pan on medium heat and add a little butter. Add a small ladle of crêpe mix to the pan so it covers the base evenly and cook until a golden colour, then flip and cook for another 10 seconds. Place the crêpe on a large plate and follow the process for the rest of the batter.

3. For the Suzette sauce, pour the sugar into a medium saucepan and cook on a medium heat until a golden caramel colour. Add the orange juice to stop the caramelisation at this point, and then add both liqueurs and whisk. Add the cornflour and use a hand blender to blend the sauce, before adding in the butter and blend again.

4. To serve, place two crêpes per plate and arrange the orange segments. Warm up the sauce and pour over the crêpes. Separately, add extra Grand Marnier to a small saucepan, heat, flambé and pour over to finish.

This zesty, sweet dish is a Bastille Day feast must.
This zesty, sweet dish is a Bastille Day feast must.

6. Caramel cream, honeycomb, caramel sauce and apples

By Guillaume Brahimi for Bulla Dairy Foods

Serves four.


Caramel cream:

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 400g thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 50g butter
  • 50g dollop cream

Caramel sauce:

  • 120g sugar
  • 20g salted butter
  • 75ml cooking cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Pinch salt


  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 40g glucose
  • 10g bicarbonate soda


1. To make the caramel cream, place sugar in a pot and place on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. When sugar reaches a dark caramel colour, add thickened cream and vanilla bean, mix together and place into a bowl and chill in the fridge.

2. For the caramel sauce, repeat the caramel process again -- place 120g sugar in pot and place on medium heat. When sugar is a dark caramel colour, add butter, cream and vanilla, whisk together and allow to simmer together for five minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature and add salt.

3. For the honeycomb, place sugar, glucose and golden syrup in a large pot, take mixture to 150°C and carefully add bicarbonate soda, stirring it very gently (the mixture will expand).

4. Pour honeycomb onto grease proof paper and allow to set. Once cold keep in airtight container.

5. Cut apples into sixths. Place a pan on medium-low heat, add butter and apple slices and caramelise.

6. When the caramel cream is completely cold and set, remove from fridge and whip until firm. Place caramelised apples on the bottom of the plate. Pipe the caramel cream into dots around the dessert plate. Spoon caramel sauce over the dessert, and roughly chop the honeycomb and sprinkle over the top. Finish with a dollop of plain cream.

This crunchy caramel and honeycomb dessert is a perfect dish to end on.
This crunchy caramel and honeycomb dessert is a perfect dish to end on.