Do you love cheese and potatoes? If you do, you will most likely fall in love with Aligot cheese. Aligot is mashed potatoes with melted cheese. This rich creamy French dish is made from mashed potatoes blended with butter, cream, crushed garlic, and melted cheese. The dish is ready when it develops a smooth, elastic texture. Made popular in the South of France, Aligot is half fondue and half mashed potatoes cooked by skilled men with large wooden paddles over the fire. It is often served with meat such as roast veal, lamb or pork and sausages. However you can also eat it on its own.
This mouth-watering cheesy puree was originally a shepherds’ dish prepared with home grown potatoes and Aubrac cheese. It is believed in Midi-Pyrénées that the Aligot was first cooked for pilgrims traveling to Santiago de Compostela and stop for a night in that region of France. It is believed that Aveyron inhabitants used to offer them this wintry, plain meal eaten with bread during those times.
Nowadays, this speciality exemplifies Southern France’s convivial gastronomy. Enjoyed for village gatherings and outdoor celebrations as a main dish, the Aligot is still cooked by hand in Aveyron, at home as well as in street markets.
Below is the recipe for Aligot cheese if you would like to try making it.
Aligot Cheese Recipe
- 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 cup grated raclette (or Lancashire)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cover the potatoes with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, salt the water, and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain.
- Add the cream, milk, and garlic to the pot. Rice the potatoes into the mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the cheese, salt, and pepper, and beat to combine. Serve.
Warning! After tasting Aligot, you may get addicted to it.