Shallots and gastronomy

An emblem of French cuisine, shallots are a magic condiment that add a unique note to the most ordinary recipes, instantly boosting their flavour!

In terms of organoleptic properties, shallot has a distinctive taste that is more subtle and sweet than that of onion, or garlic, and unlike the latter, shallot will not taint your breath!

Shallots are often served raw like green onions, but they are also used as a condiment in traditional French sauces (Béarnaise, de Bercy, Bourguignone…), and as an ingredient in ‘shallot vinegar’ served with oysters and shellfish. Shallots can also be served cooked, and are more digestible than onions. Shallots are a great way of adding flavour to grilled meat, one example of this use is the popular ‘Bavette à l'Échalote’.

Shallot vinegar

The fast and easy recipe

  • 2 small shallots
  • 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Banyuls vinegar
  • Black pepper

Peel and finely chop shallots, then mix in a bowl with white wine vinegar and Banyuls vinegar. Leave to rest before serving. Serve with oysters, clams, shellfish…

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Bavette à l'échalote

The traditional recipe…

Serves 4

  • 4 thick-cut bavette d'aloyau steaks, approx. 200 g each
  • 8 shallots
  • 30 g butter
  • 50 cl low-tannin red wine
  • salt, freshly ground pepper

Peel and chop shallots (do not chop too finely);

Lightly brown shallots in butter on a very low flame. Add wine, cover and leave to simmer on a very low flame for at least 30 minutes;

When the shallots are ready, grill the meat (prefer it underdone);

Dish out the steaks and top with shallot confit. Serve and enjoy!

Another tasty option, is using onglet steak instead of bavette.

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Shallot confit tart

A tasty alternative to traditional onion tart…

Serves 4

  • 1 pre-cooked pastry case
  • 200 g butter
  • 15 shallots
  • 15 cl crème fraîche
  • 80 g smoked diced bacon (or finely diced meat)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel shallots;

Melt butter in a frying pan and brown shallots. Sprinkle with salt and sugar and add a bit of water.
Leave to cook (on a low flame) until the water evaporates, and stir from time to time with a wooden spoon;

Make into a puree

Add the crème fraîche (15 cl), 3 egg yolks, diced bacon or meat, salt and pepper;

Pour the mixture into the pastry case and put to cook in the oven at 180 °C (thermostat 6) for 1/4 hour.

Shallot confit is a wonderful accompaniment to roast meat...

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Shallots cooked in papillotes

A bouquet of rich flavours…

Serves 4

  • 16 shallots
  • 5 cl olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut off ends and peel the shallots;

Sprinkle shallots with olive oil and wrap in tin foil;

Cook for approx. 20 minutes;

Take out of the oven, cut the shallots in half lengthwise;

Add salt and pepper. Serve with meat (poultry, beef…) or fish, and cooked crême fraîche.

You can further caramelize the shallots in the oven by sprinkling them with sugar…

More shallot recipes are available on the following websites: "", épicuriens de Belgique and

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