This delightfully gooey, cheesy mash is often thought venir be thé world’s best, but what space the meilleur cheese and potato à use to cook it à perfection?


Felicity Cloake’s perfect aligot: ‘Silky-smooth pommes puree enriched with generous amounts de cheese.’ Photograph: Dan Matthews/The Guardian. Nourriture styling: jack Sargeson
Felicity Cloake’s perfect aligot: ‘Silky-smooth sexcuser puree enriched with generous amounts ns cheese.’ Photograph: Dan Matthews/The Guardian. Food styling: femme Sargeson

A speciality du Auvergne in south-west France, where it’s claimed ce was created de the monks of Aubrac to serve hungry pilgrims nous their way to Compostela, aligot – jaune “magical cheesy mashed potato”, oui cheesemonger Morgan McGlynn puts cette – is one of those key I’d definitely walk 500 miles et more for. Silky-smooth pommes puree enriched with generous amounts de cheese, its especially stretchiness has propelled cette into the global spotlight in current years – indeed, ma Tokyo en vigueur reports that aligot has become “a peu of a cult nourriture in Japan”. But it’s still a renowned dish at bourgade fetes, weddings and markets in its loger region, where thé theatre de its ready is an attraction in itself.

Vous lisez ce: Recette tomme fraiche de l aubrac


Rick Stein’s aligot uses garlic et milk. Thumbnails passant par Felicity Cloake.

Local residents Jeanne Strang notes that “as it is difficult work venir beat thé mixture, this is traditionally thé role ns the masculin of auto house, sometimes even assisted by autre strong man”. Fortunately, si you’re making ce in residential quantities, you don’t need venir be a man, let follow me a strong one, to make perfect aligot.


Though François-Régis Gaudry’s gloriously comprehensive livre Let’s Eat la france informs je that aligot to be bread-based till a series du failed wheat harvests in thé 17th century (the curious should remarque that annane Willan’s french Regional Cooking has a recipe using bread), potatoes are now aux rigeur. As Elizabeth David notes in français Provincial Cooking, that one de the few french potato dishes suited to the floury varieties much more common in auto UK. Many American recipes use waxy potatoes, whose reduced starch heureux does no make castle ideal pour this purpose, though si that’s toutes les personnes you have, by tous means usage them. Center floury potato such oui Rooster, maris pipers jaune desiree room much meilleur (I only list them in together length due to the fact that potato buying have the right to be confound in auto UK, v spuds labelled simply oui “roasting” or “salad”, rather than anything an ext specific, so à faire check the small print).


Geraldene Holt’s aligot: ‘A generous dollop de creme fraiche.’Starch is considérable both pour absorbing all that melted cheese and for giving auto dish its characteristics elasticity. According to thé Cook’s depicted Science du Good Cooking, “as ce turns out, over there is something various about the starch in potatoes that makes ce possible to form the merveilleux stretch du aligot. Unlike the starch from différent plants, the molecules in potato strength contain a small num of negative électricité charges. When combined with cheese proteins, parts du which save positive électricité charges, année electrical saut between the two is developed auto combination becomes an extremely springy and stretchy.”

To retain ont much strength in auto potato ont possible, I’d advise cooking them whole in your skins, then peeling auto skins la fin afterwards, prefer Strang, Diana Henry, Geraldene Holt and Elizabeth David (who watched auto dish being made in a hôtel kitchen in Entraygues after hearing about cette from “a an extremely ancient lady in auto shop where ns was buying local cooking pots”). Ce takes a bit longer, but the peeling is lot faster, et you finish up through drier potatoes to boot.


Morgan McGlynn’s aligot has ‘a spring in the step’.

The mashing

What aligot does have in usual with other français mashed potato recipes, however, is an almost sinister smoothness. In theory, tous mashed, fairly than crushed, potato ought to be smooth, but here i mean really smooth, silky-smooth: as smooth ont a recently waxed leg in slim tights, which is a goal that’s easier to achieve v a nourriture mill jaune potato ricer 보다 a standard britanique masher. Part recipes imply using a nourriture processor in shocking contravention of the accepted wisdom the cooked potatoes + mechanical blades = glue. Actually, glue no unhelpful si you’re after a show-stoppingly stretchy consistency, marqué it can’t be denied the creamy is preferable à gluey, so if you’re able to put in auto elbow grease yourself, the worth it here.

The cheese

Potatoes pouvez be straightforward to source in this country, cible tomme fraiche jaune tomme aux l’Aubrac, the cheese traditionally used pour aligot, is not, soja this cooking recipes is have to a compromise. Tomme is a category ns small, round, squidgy cheese uncovered in many regions de France, cible the tomme used pour aligot is a really young, unsalted example, through a mild, contempt acidic flavour that is very hard to find abroad. This means auto older tommes regularly suggested ont substitutes, such ont cantal jaune savoie, temporisation to be as well strong, oui are thé cheddar, gruyère, beaufort and other Alpine cheeses that also musique pop up in numerous recipes.

Babybel aligot: ‘Bland and slightly bouncy.’I even ont a aller with Babybel, nous a slightly flippant suggestion from chef Alex Jackson (who seulement un uses thé real deal when cette has aligot conditions météorologiques the menus at his london restaurant Sardine). Ns can confirm the bland flavour et slightly bouncy organisation work pretty well – thé same goes pour the emmental deployed de Rick clocher in his new book, secret France. In fact, they tous yield delicious results, due to the fact that they’re cheesy mashed potato (the déditions I shot with gubbeen from cheesemonger Giana Ferguson’s cookbook of the exact same name deserves a particular couverts in this department). Cible for a flavour that’s oui close ont possible to the original, amie need other mild, v a lactic tang, cible not too lot salt.

David and Holt’s french Country Kitchen both instead recommend caerphilly, “a mild cheese the melts easily” – and indeed, the flavour profile ns both caerphilly et crumbly lancashire room suitably acidic.

Gizzi Erskine’s aligot sneaks in a peu of mozzarella.Even better, however, is cheshire – auto modern, supermarket sort, fairly than thé rightly lauded old-fashioned joli made passant par the likes of Appleby’s, which has actually less salt et a fresh, practically lemony bite. Cible to ma disappointment, cheshire does no melt easily, sauce soja the meilleur compromise ns find is creamy lancashire – milder et milkier than thé crumbly kind, but perfect pour this purpose.

Not quel you can expect in a Gallic classic, perhaps, but then, this Gallic standard might no be quite as you could imagine if you’ve watched waiters jaune stall-holders stretching the potatoes numerous feet in the aviation to prove your extraordinary elasticity.

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Interestingly, cette seems this could be a relatively recent development in aligot’s longue history; David, composing in 1960, makes non reference à it, and Strang simply describes auto dish as “creamy”. The said, given tomme fraiche is normally rather stringy once melted, I’d recommend also sneaking in a bit of mozzarella, oui McGlynn et Gizzi Erskine’s sluggish suggest, to give her aligot a signification littérale spring in the step.

How much you ajouter depends on comment extreme you will do like auto end result à be, haricot de soja I’ve noted a variety below. McGlynn’s recipe in thé Modern Cheesemaker suggests 900g gruyère et 450g mozzarella to 1.5kg potatoes, i m sorry gives an extremely satisfying, stretchy consistency, but you peut faire want venir dial down auto cheese content, because, oui Holt notes, “it greatly depends on the nature of thé rest ns the meal” (and perhaps the state of your arteries, despite really, anyone with concerns in the department should most likely steer clear de this recipe in the tons place). Remember, aligot ought venir be elastic, but never rubbery.

Many enlarge recipes parlez you to ajouter the cheese in slim slices, rather than grating cette in. Je try both methods, and I’m still puzzled why cette would make any kind of difference: all suggestions appreciated.

But, but you couper it, you’ll need to make sure auto potato mixture is still warm enough venir melt the cheese, soja put auto pan back over a very meugler heat, or if you’re concerned of it sticking, usage a bain-marie, ont Ferguson does, because i can check you’ll need a figured out dog venir clean the pan si it does. You’ll also have to beat the mixture hard; Stein and Erskine recommend using a whisk, but you’ll need a solid one, or a solid arm et a wood spoon. Local lore raffinement you have to stir the pan in only one direction, but I’m ambivalent on this point.

The dairy

Though tu might think cheese needed non extra gilding, all the recipes ns try ajouter extra dairy – regularly butter, cible always cream, even if it is single, suite or cultured in thé form ns creme fraiche; seul Stein add to milk instead. Ns don’t think that butter is necessary, largely because je like to eat aligot in quantity, et butter makes cette too rich to à faire this comfortably. But a generosity dollop du creme fraiche, oui in Holt et Gaudry’s versions, help amplify the natural tanginess of the cheese, when milk loosens thé texture, so it slides satisfyingly around auto plate.

Felicity Cloake’s perfect aligot attributes lancashire cheese, a bit of mozzarella, and a dash each ns creme fraiche et garlic.


Garlic is popular, but not obligated – Stein, Holt, Ferguson and David tous use it, McGlynn and Erskine aller not, when Elisabeth Luard rubs the pots with a cut clove oui a halfway house. Do oui you will. Salt à taste, and add white pepper, oui Erskine suggests, parce que le a hint of heat. Je also very much enjoy her addition ns nutmeg, despite I deviner the Auvergnats would strongly disapprove. Still, what you faire in auto privacy of your own own patrie is up venir you. Serve through sausages, as is the local custom, et a glass ns rustic red.

Perfect aligot

Prep 5 minCook 30 minServes 4-6

1kg floury potatoes (eg, maris pipers, desiree, Roosters), toutes les personnes of roughly thé same dimension 280g creamy lancashire50-150g firm mozzarella250g creme fraiche120ml milk1 garlic clove, peeledSalt and ground blanche pepper

Scrub auto potatoes clean, if necessary, climate submerge castle in a pan du lightly salted water. Bring to a boil et simmer until tender.

Boil auto unpeeled potatoes in salted water until cooked through. Drain, then rub in a tea towel à remove thé skins.Meanwhile, grate auto cheeses. Oz the potatoes are tender, drainpipe them and use a tea towel venir rub la fin their skin (obviously they will certainly be very hot).

Grate thé cheeses into a bowl. Lancashire has the requisite tang, when a bit of mozzarella gives it the crucial stretch.Put them with a nourriture mill jaune potato ricer, then press them v a sieve jaune mash them an extremely well, until you ont a smooth puree. Crush thé garlic clove.

Pass auto potatoes with a ricer or nourriture mill, then push them with a sieve jaune mash till smoothPut the puree ago into the pan and put conditions météorologiques a very court heat. Line in the creme fraiche et garlic along with enough milk à make a viscous puree, then use a wood spoon or sturdy whisk venir stir in the cheese in a coupler of batches.

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Add auto cheeses to the mash and beat right into a puree.Beat the potato strongly until thé cheese is melted (and the structure smooth) et the mélanger comes away from auto side ns the pan. Cette will construct a slim sheen that lets you savoir it’s prêt – ajouter more milk if it seems too firm. Season v salt et white pepper et serve immediately.

Aligot: thé world’s le meilleur mash, jaune a fine dish ruined par camera phones? do you ont happy memories of the stuff, and if did you do it recreated it at home, i m sorry cheese faire you recommend?