Les Vraies Frites (Thin Fries)

Did the French or the Belgians invent them? The controversy seems to be impossible to solve. But fries are for sure a big part of French culture. Here is the perfect recipe. In northern France, they are fried using a combination of 3⁄4 beef tallow and 1⁄4 lard.

Serves: 4Hands-on: 45 minutesTotal: 2 hours 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 4


  • 2 lbs. starchy potatoes (Idaho or russet), peeled and cut in 1⁄6-inch sticks
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 4 tsp. table salt


  • Add potatoes to a bowl of water. Cover and reserve for 1 hour.
  • Pour in a colander, and dry the potatoes thoroughly with a cotton cloth. Divide them into three batches of equal size. Fill a large saucepan with oil and bring to 300°F. Put 1⁄3 of the potatoes in a frying basket and plunge them in the saucepan for 7 minutes. Then take them out, put them back in the dried colander, and do the same for the two other batches. Let them cool down for about 30 minutes.
  • Prepare 2 large bowls lined with paper towels in the bottom. Bring the oil (or fat) to 350°F. Plunge the first batch into the heated oil and cook for around 3 minutes (they must be perfectly golden), then put the fries in the first bowl. Transfer them to the second bowl, and replace the paper towel of the first bowl before frying the second batch of potatoes. Repeat the draining process, and cook the third batch the same way.
  • Serve immediately, with salt on the table.