Aligot

56 Comments

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 – a potato purée beaten together 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.

 

 

56 thoughts on “Aligot

  1. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!”

    • 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!

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

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

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

  2. 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.

  3. “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!

    • 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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…

    • 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!

  6. 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 !

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

      • 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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

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