One of its former star players, Zinedine Zidane, was named the best European footballer for the past 50 years in a 2004 UEFA poll. This year, they’ll be looking to win their second world title.
In terms of gastronomy, in addition to its wine, France is famous for quiche, bourguignon and tapenade dishes. Its national dish is pot-au-feu, a beef stew with vegetables.
2 celery sticks
2 large potatoes
2 celery hearts
100ml double cream
1 savoy cabbage
1. In a large saucepan, cover the brisket with cold water and bring to a simmer. Cut onion in half and blacken it in a frying pan, add it to the pot. Add 2 carrots, leek and celery sticks. Add the bouquet garni and allow the meat to poach for 3 hours.
2. Peel the remaining carrots. Quarter the potatoes and celery hearts. Discard the cooked vegetables from the pot and add the fresh ones, except for potatoes. Poach for 25 minutes. Add potatoes, poach for an additional 20 minutes.
3. Peel and cut parsnips into small pieces and boil until tender. Pass them through a food mill and cook them further in a small pan with double cream until mixture is dry and fluffy.
4. Wash and quarter the cabbage and boil it in salted water until tender.
5. Cut the meat in thick slices. Ladle broth into shallow bowls. Add the meat and vegetables to serve. Serve with parsnip purée.