Aligot

Recently I was looking something up on the internet, and came across photos of melted cheese. That is exactly the way to get my attention – melted cheese. It didn’t look quite like raclette or fondue, and I read that it was Aligot. Why have I never heard of this?

Aligot (ah-lee-go) is a specialty of the Auvergne region of central France. It’s not melted cheese. It’s a potato purée beaten with cheese to make a stretchy mixture. Stretchy indeed!

The following photo is from the French cooking blog Papilles et Pupilles.

From a New York Times article, “somewhere between buttery mashed potatoes and pure melted cheese lies aligot, the comforting, cheese-enhanced mashed-potato dish.”

The recipe I’m using is from the book, The Food of France – a journey for food lovers, published in 2001. I was gifted this book but used it mostly as a coffee table book because it’s so beautiful. This recipe and the one from Papilles et Pupilles are very similar.


Aligot
Slightly adapted
Printable recipe below

1 1/2 pounds floury potatoes, cut into even-sized pieces
4 ounces butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 ounces cream
10 ounces Cantal, grated

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20-30 minutes, or until tender. I weighed both the potatoes and cheese to make sure I had the correct ratio, not knowing if it was that critical or not.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and add the garlic.

Mash the potatoes using a ricer or food mill; don’t use a food processor or they will become fluent.

Place the riced potatoes in the saucepan over gentle heat and add the cream.

Mix together well and then add the cheese, handful by handful, beating vigorously with each addition.

Once the cheese has melted the mixture will be stretchy.

Season with salt and pepper before serving.

It starts out a little lumpy, but indeed, with serious stirring, the potato and cheese mixture becomes smooth.

This dish is meant to be a “backdrop” side dish, so yes, stronger aged cheeses like a cave-aged Gruyere can be used, but I think it’s important to stick with authenticity. By using the proper cheese, aligot is similar to a plain polenta, that lets the sausages, or daube, or coq au vin “shine”.

Serve as quickly as you can, because it does stiffen when cooling.

I served the aligot with sausage and a lightly dressed green salad.

Aligot is basically cheesy mashed potatoes on crack! Crazy good. And a fabulous cheese that I’d never tried before. So much excitement on this end!!!

And now I need to travel to the Auvergne region of France to see what else I’ve been missing.

 

 

By Published On: January 15th, 202056 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

56 Comments

  1. Linda Duffin January 15, 2020 at 6:12 AM - Reply

    You know, I’ve never actually made aligot, but I really must! Cheesy carb heaven. The Auvergne is really beautiful, do go. They also have a blue cheese, Fourme d’Ambert (not to be confused with Blue d’Auvergne, also good) which is to die for.

    • chef mimi January 15, 2020 at 6:57 AM - Reply

      Oh I’ve seen that. I’ll keep an eye out. There’s so much of France I haven’t seen and yet I’ve been many times. And my travel list is still so long. This year we’re going to a part of the US we’ve never been to, and also South Africa and some nearby countries. Really excited about both of those trips.

  2. Tabula Rasa January 15, 2020 at 7:40 AM - Reply

    oh wow…it’s a heart attack on a plate but oh wow.

    • chef mimi January 15, 2020 at 10:04 AM - Reply

      But what a way to go, right?!!

      • Tabula Rasa January 15, 2020 at 12:39 PM

        I can think of worse ways!

  3. Gerlinde January 15, 2020 at 9:26 AM - Reply

    What a treat , I can imagine every bite of this rich and delicious meal.

    • chef mimi January 15, 2020 at 10:05 AM - Reply

      It was so good. I had to ask my husband to hide the rest because I couldn’t stop eating it. And I made it on the first day of post-holidays, when I should have been “dieting!”

  4. kitchenriffs January 15, 2020 at 10:04 AM - Reply

    This is a new dish to me — and it looks like such a good one. Thanks!

    • chef mimi January 15, 2020 at 10:06 AM - Reply

      It’s pretty amazing. I don’t know how either of us could have missed this one, but I’m so glad I discovered it!

  5. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats January 15, 2020 at 11:48 AM - Reply

    This looks so creamy and rich, just the perfect comfort food for a cold day!

    • chef mimi January 15, 2020 at 11:49 AM - Reply

      And even though it looks so rubbery, it still felt like you’re eating mashed potatoes! Just stretchy ones!

  6. Susan@savoringtimeinthekitchen January 15, 2020 at 4:58 PM - Reply

    The best comfort food for a chilly, winter night! I had never heard of it either but am destined to try it now. I think the greens on the plate make it all justifiable. :)

    • chef mimi January 15, 2020 at 5:28 PM - Reply

      Absolutely!!! And the sausage is just for looks 😬 It’s pretty incredible. I hope you get a chance to try it!

  7. Jeff the Chef January 15, 2020 at 11:28 PM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of this either! I bet it’s out of this world!

    • chef mimi January 16, 2020 at 8:09 AM - Reply

      That sums it up pretty well!

  8. neil@neilshealthymeals.com January 16, 2020 at 1:46 AM - Reply

    Wow. I haven’t heard of Aligot before Mimi but it sure looks like a delicious cheesy creamy mashed potato recipe. Perfect for comfort in winter!

    • chef mimi January 16, 2020 at 8:10 AM - Reply

      And so much better than just mashed potatoes, and those are pretty spectacular as well! Definitely comforting.

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime January 16, 2020 at 3:11 AM - Reply

    Like you, I am a cheese addict. And I also have not heard of Aligot. I am so making this when the weather cools down :)

    • chef mimi January 16, 2020 at 8:11 AM - Reply

      Ah yes, cheese. It was fun discovering another one, and it was really good as is. But with the potatoes it was spectacular.

  10. Kiki January 16, 2020 at 5:09 AM - Reply

    Oooh I’ve had Aligot at a friend’s a few years ago but it had completely slipped my mind until I saw your post! Have to make this, it’s perfect for the season.

    • chef mimi January 16, 2020 at 8:11 AM - Reply

      Oh no! How could you forget it?!! I’d never come across it at all, but I’m sure glad I did.

      • Kiki January 17, 2020 at 3:07 AM

        And I’m sure glad I got a reminder through you :-)

  11. David @ Spiced January 16, 2020 at 6:31 AM - Reply

    “Mashed potatoes on crack!” Haha. Well said, my friend. So I love (!!) trying new cheeses, and Aligot is new to me. I’ll have to check our local cheese stores to see if I can get it. I’m all about some cheesy mashed ‘taters, and these look amazing, Mimi!

    • chef mimi January 16, 2020 at 8:13 AM - Reply

      I hope you can find the right cheese. I just must have the proper melting point or something to work so well with the potatoes. But it’s also a good cheese on its own. Good luck, I really hope you can make it!

  12. Ann Coleman January 16, 2020 at 7:56 AM - Reply

    That does look great! How could I not love mashed potatoes and cheese?

    • chef mimi January 16, 2020 at 8:13 AM - Reply

      Exactly! This was an amazing dish to try. I’ll definitely be making it again!

  13. Katherine | Love In My Oven January 16, 2020 at 3:34 PM - Reply

    So intriguing, Mimi! I have never heard of it either, but I do love fondue and I do love the idea of raclette (I’ve still never tried it) so I’m fairly confident I would enjoy this too! That cheese stretch is pretty impressive, and mouth-watering! Yum!

    • chef mimi January 16, 2020 at 4:38 PM - Reply

      I’m pretty confident you would love this! It’s just so different and yummy!

  14. sherry January 16, 2020 at 11:09 PM - Reply

    aligot must be out there in the blogosphere lately cos this is the second time i’ve seen it in a week or so:) i first read about it years ago in an aussie writer’s travel notes. i still haven’t made it…

    • chef mimi January 17, 2020 at 8:15 AM - Reply

      Well that’s interesting! I still haven’t seen it anywhere, but I’m so glad I discovered it! You should make it, when it’s cooler out!

  15. Darya January 17, 2020 at 8:19 AM - Reply

    I love this post, Mimi.
    Aligot is wonderful. Auvergne is also wonderful! There is another dish using aligot and potatoes called truffade, the melted cheese is served with pieces of potatoes, very yummy too. Then there is a kind of spinach and prune flan/pâté called Pounti which is fabulous. And lots of funky bitter liqueurs… it is worth discovering it all on the spot some day !

    • chef mimi January 17, 2020 at 8:20 AM - Reply

      Oh goodness. Heavenly dishes! I have so much more of France to visit. Thank you Darya. I hope you’re well!!!

      • Darya January 17, 2020 at 8:25 AM

        Yes, France is full of wonderful foods and dishes. I am well, thank you. I wish I had time for blogging now and then, but work + being back in school makes it complicated. Soon I hope!

  16. cookingwithauntjuju.com January 17, 2020 at 11:06 AM - Reply

    Now, who wouldn’t love this dish! I wish I had your recipe when I made my last post. Such an interesting texture – I need to make it just to see how it stretches :) Lovely and delicious I’m sure! I never tried Cantal but I’m sure if I can’t find it mozzarella would be a good substitute.

    • chef mimi January 17, 2020 at 12:20 PM - Reply

      I hope you can find the actual cheese. It’s good, but not strong, so maybe mozz would work…

      • cookingwithauntjuju.com January 17, 2020 at 1:29 PM

        Fortunately there are a number of stores in my area where I can look for this cheese – I always enjoy trying something new!

  17. David Scott Allen January 18, 2020 at 8:42 AM - Reply

    I love that book, but I’ve never made aligot… I need to start looking for the Cantal.

    • David Scott Allen January 18, 2020 at 8:43 AM - Reply

      I meant to add that, for a coffee table book, it has a lot of really good recipes!

  18. Frank Fariello January 18, 2020 at 9:09 AM - Reply

    Wow, this is really right up my alley. Looks like heaven on a plate. :-)

    • chef mimi January 18, 2020 at 9:12 AM - Reply

      If heaven is a pile of cheesy mashed potatoes! Indeed!

  19. Lisa @ cheergerm January 19, 2020 at 2:14 AM - Reply

    Lordy lord. The cheese gods are mocking me! (This is the second cheese post I have read tonight!) I can’t eat much dairy anymore but still allow myself a bit of cheese every now and then. I adore mash potato so what a delicious combo!!!!

  20. Roz January 19, 2020 at 2:32 PM - Reply

    I am truly in heaven just by reading this recipe and drooling over your photos. I can’t imagine how superb this must taste! I MUST make this Chef Mimi!

    • chef mimi January 19, 2020 at 2:44 PM - Reply

      Isn’t it amazing?!! You will love it.

  21. myhomefoodthatsamore January 20, 2020 at 2:46 AM - Reply

    Go aligot!!! Some ‘simple’ things are truly sublime.

    • chef mimi January 20, 2020 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      Absolutely. Simple and crazy wonderful!

  22. Laura January 20, 2020 at 4:52 PM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of Aligot. But I have to say, I’m a little mesmerized by the thought of potatoes and cheese mixed to stretchiness! Sounds delish!

    • chef mimi January 20, 2020 at 5:22 PM - Reply

      I know!!! Incredible!!!

  23. cookingontheweekends January 20, 2020 at 9:08 PM - Reply

    I haven’t heard of this and of course I want to try it ASAP! Everyone in my house will love them! The photos in this post are really beautiful. Love the way the green pops! :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi January 21, 2020 at 5:22 PM - Reply

      You need to try aligot! It’s incredible! And thank you.

  24. jenniferguerrero1 January 21, 2020 at 11:36 AM - Reply

    This looks amazing! I’ve never heard of that dish before, either. I’ll have to check out that book, too.

    • chef mimi January 21, 2020 at 3:20 PM - Reply

      It’s pretty wonderful, as you can well imagine!

  25. sippitysup January 26, 2020 at 1:29 PM - Reply

    Something new to try and try it I will. My MIL is on a pureed diet so they whole family can enjoy this one . Thanks, GREG

    • chef mimi January 26, 2020 at 1:54 PM - Reply

      You all will love it!

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