5Dutch cream potatoes (about 1kg), scrubbed6garlic cloves250 ml (1 cup)milk150 gmbutter, coarsely chopped600 gmCantal, coarsely grated (see note)
Combine potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water and cook over medium heat until tender (35-45 minutes), then drain and return to saucepan to steam until dry (1-2 minutes).
Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until just below a simmer (3-4 minutes), keep warm.
When cool enough to handle, peel potatoes and pass through a moulis or ricer with garlic into a clean saucepan. Add milk mixture in a thin, steady stream, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until smooth and incorporated. Return to low heat and add cheese a little at a time, stirring continuously until mixture is smooth and elastic (10-15 minutes). Serve hot as a side dish with sausages or roast meat.
Note Cantal, a firm cheese from the Auvergne region in France, is available from Simon Johnson and select delicatessens.
This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
L’aligot. The name fairly trips off the tongue. It’s a pleasure to utter, but this in no way compares with the unadulterated pleasure that comes with tucking into a generous portion of this gooey goodness.
This specialty of the southern Auvergne is the pinnacle of potato purées. While mashed potato is arguably one of the greatest comfort foods, the French, of course, take it one step further in the richness stakes. And given the bitterness of their winters, it’s no wonder. Creamy, silky smooth puréed potato – already laden with ample butter and softened with a little milk – is beaten over heat while, little by little, a generous quantity of cheese is added. But not just any cheese.
Key to this dish is the inclusion of Cantal, a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese famed in the region and beyond. The other cheese often traditionally used is tomme. Common to them both is a distinctive, slightly nutty flavour. The cheese melts and stretches, the potato becomes shiny and glossy and the result is a ridiculously more-ish, almost fondue-like pot of molten heaven.
The dish was originally cooked by the region’s shepherds, and often served on its own. Nowadays, it’s likely to be served alongside chunky Toulouse sausages, although it’s easy to see why this hearty dish requires little more than a loaf of crusty bread to make it into a meal.