What Does Frenching a Bone Mean?

A rack of pork

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To "french" a bone is a culinary term that means to cut the meat away from the end of a rib or chop so that part of the bone is exposed.

Why Bones Are Frenched

This is done with racks of lamb, beef, and pork purely for aesthetic reasons or appearances' sake. Years ago, the exposed bones were covered with frilled papers. While exposing the bone is still done, adding the frilled papers is rarely done anymore.

Commonly Frenched Meats

The most common examples of frenched meat can be found in a crown roast, whether it is beef, pork or lamb, whose rib ends are scraped clean of all meat, fat, and sinew. The ribs are then formed into a circle or crown shape and sewn together with butcher's twine, so it stands up. Frequently, the interior of the "crown" is stuffed with a savory bread dressing.

Recipes Using the Bone-Frenching Technique

  • Roast Rack of Pork Recipe: This frenched rib roast is made from a bone-in center-cut loin of pork. It makes a spectacular presentation for a special dinner.
  • Dutch Pork Rib Roast Recipe: This Dutch-inspired pork roast with vegetables is made with the first six ribs from the shoulder—the juiciest cut.
  • Tomahawk Steak Recipe: The bone-end of this beef rib-eye steak (also known as a cowboy steak) is frenched giving it the appearance of a tomahawk or axe. This tender cut makes a wonderful presentation.

Frenching Technique Used on Other Foods

It's not only bones that are given the frenching technique. Frenching also means cutting food in a certain way to ensure that the food cooks evenly in addition to looking attractive when it is presented.

Two classically frenched vegetables are green beans and potatoes or fries. This means they are cut into long, thin strips, also known as a julienne cut. 

Vegetable Recipes Using the Frenching Technique

  • Sweet Potato Fries Recipe: These sweet-tasting fries are great as a side dish for a casual meal. You can pick them up a notch by sprinkling with a bit of cayenne or chili pepper.
  • How to Make Regular French Fries Recipe: If standard-issue are more your thing, these step-by-step instructions will take you from spud to golden and crispy fries.
  • Green Bean Salad with Bacon Recipe: This salad recipe starts with French-cut frozen green beans that get a flavor boost from bacon, olive oil, and red-wine vinegar.