Five Classic French Stews

Ease into fall with one of these

Francois de Melogue
9 min readSep 25, 2020

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Beef Short Rib Bourguignon, photo: Francois de Melogue

Fall had started in earnest; a cool, light mist was falling. My wife Lisa and I decided to take our dog for a long walk foraging wild cèpes (porcini). I built a roaring fire in our small wood stove, placed a daube of beef on top to braise slowly, then walked out into the Mendocino woods.

We followed a narrow track that ran through the dense, overgrown pygmy forest collecting two shopping bags full of mushrooms before returning home to enjoy our feast.

Wood smoke commingled with the enticing aromas of slow-cooked meat that hung nose high in the clammy mist surrounding our cabin. With every step closer, the smells grew more ambrosial and inviting, causing us to quicken our pace.

Winter squashes at my local farmers market, photo; Francois de Melogue

Summer to Autumn

As summer segues into autumn, I cannot help but hope summer will linger on just a bit longer. But the pitter-patter of rain on my roof reminds me that won’t happen anytime soon.

The palate of flavors changes at my local farmers' market. Rich stews are inspired by the root vegetables and unctuous cuts of meat forgotten by summer’s table. The heartier…

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Francois de Melogue

My earliest attempt at cookery began with the filleting of my sister's goldfish at age 2 and cooking my pet rabbits by age 7. Life has been downhill ever since.