aligot

a cheesy potato dish that is so yummy!


Aligot is one of the oldest traditional dishes originating from the Aveyron in the Midi-Pyrénées and is really a simple dish of really yummy cheesy potatoes – and it is stretchy......! The French have many recipes for the humble potato, but they manage to turn them into the most wonderful dishes. 

It is said that the origins of Aligot began with the monks who made the very first dish but used bread until the potato was introduced into France. They made the dish with their home-made bread and the local cheese to satisfy the hungry pilgrims who passed their way.

It is a dish that can be found throughout this region and you simply must try it if you ever visit this area. In fact it is fascinating to watch it being made.

And if you would like to try it for yourself at home, here is a pretty good recipe to satisfy all potato lovers.

I first enjoyed this dish as an accompaniment to Aubrac steak on a visit to the cutlery town of Laguiolle; I enjoyed it so much, I went back the next day for more. Subsequently, I went on a visit to the Lot valley, and encountered it there, too, being produced in commercial quantities. It was delicious.

INGREDIENTS

2lb potatoes (about 1kg)

10oz cheese, Tomme for preference

2oz butter

6oz cream or crème fraiche

1 clove garlic, crushed

Salt



METHOD

You can either peel or cook the potatoes in salted boiling water, or my favourite method is to cook them in their skins then peel them. Mash the potatoes well.

Heat the cream and butter in a pan with the crushed garlic then add the cheese cut into small pieces and heat until it is all melted.

Add this creamy, cheesy mixture to the potatoes and mash really well (this is the most important part of the process, it really must be beaten well) until you have a consistency that is elastic in texture, and then serve immediately.


If you ever watch Aligot being made in France you will see that it stretches like elastic! Traditionally it is served with good quality pork sausages, but it will go with a wide range of ingredients, including pork chops or even a good steak.

AFTERTHOUGHT...

If you have any left over – well, perhaps not, but just in case you do, it makes lovely little potato cakes for a light meal. Simply form the potato mixture into small cakes, dust with flour and gently fry for a few minutes on each side.