Perfect French aligot: cheesiest mashed potatoes ever

Learn how to make aligot, a traditional French dish made from mashed potatoes and cheese that has a stretchy and velvety texture.

If you love cheese and potatoes, then you will definitely love this French aligot!

It is a traditional dish from the south of France that combines these two ingredients into a stretchy, velvety, and delicious concoction.

Aligot is not just a side dish, it is a work of art that requires some skill and patience to achieve the perfect texture and flavor.

In this blog post, I will show you how to make aligot at home, and share some tips and tricks to make it even better.

What is aligot?

Aligot (pronounced ah-lee-go) is a dish that originated in the Aveyron region of France, in the area called L’Aubrac.

It is made from mashed potatoes, cheese, butter, cream and garlic, and it has a distinctive elastic consistency that makes it fun to eat. Aligot is often served with sausages or grilled meats, and a glass of red wine from the Auvergne or Beaujolais wine area.

The history of aligot dates back to the Middle Ages, when monks used to make it with bread and cheese to feed the pilgrims who visited their monasteries.

Later, when potatoes were introduced to France, they replaced the bread as the main ingredient.

The cheese used for aligot is usually tomme de Laguiole, a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from the same region.

However, you can also use other cheeses, such as gruyere, mozzarella, raclette or cheddar.

Learn how to make aligot, a traditional French dish made from mashed potatoes and cheese that has a stretchy and velvety texture.

How to make aligot

Making these cheesy potatoes at home is not difficult, but it does require some attention and effort to get them right.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Peel and cut 2 pounds of potatoes into quarters. Choose potatoes that are good for mashing, such as russet or Yukon gold. Boil them in salted water for about 20 minutes, until they are tender but not falling apart.
  2. Drain the potatoes and mash them well with a potato masher or a ricer. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt, ⅛ teaspoon of white pepper, and 4 tablespoons of butter, and mix well for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 3/4 cup of cream or crème fraîche and 1 clove of garlic (lightly crushed but kept whole) to a simmer. Do not boil or the cream may curdle.
  4. Remove the garlic and discard it. Add 3 cups of cheese (cut into small pieces) to the cream and stir until melted. You can use tomme de Laguiole or any combination of cheeses that you like.
  5. Transfer the potato mixture to a large skillet over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the cheese sauce gradually until well combined. This is the most important part of the process: you need to beat the mixture vigorously for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You should be able to lift the spoon and see long ribbons of potato and cheese stretching from it.
  6. Serve aligot immediately on warm plates or in a large bowl. Enjoy it with your favorite meat or sausage, or simply by itself.

Tips and tricks for making aligot

Here are some tips and tricks to make your aligot even better:

  • Use good quality cheese that melts well and has a strong flavor. You can experiment with different cheeses or mix them together to create your own blend. The traditional cheese is tomme de Laguiole, but you can also use gruyere, mozzarella, raclette or cheddar instead.
  • Use crème fraîche instead of cream if you can find it. It has a richer taste and a thicker texture that works well for aligot.
  • Do not overcook the potatoes or they will become mushy and greasy. Cook them until they are just tender enough to mash easily.
  • Do not skimp on the beating time or your aligot will not be stretchy enough. You need to work the potato and cheese mixture over low heat until it becomes glossy and elastic.
  • Serve the cheesy potatoes as soon as possible after making it. It does not keep well or reheat well. However, if you have leftovers, you can make potato cakes by shaping them into patties, dusting them with flour, and frying them on both sides.

What to serve with aligot?

Aligot is a delicious and creamy cheese and mashed potato dish that is typically served with local sausages, spit-roast veal, lamb or even pork.

For vegetables side dishes, we would definitely go for a fresh green salad, roasted root vegetables, stewed lentils and carrots or minty peas.

What wine to serve with aligot?

White wines such as Riesling from Alsace or white wine from the Loire are good options to counterbalance the velvety cheese flavor.

If you prefer a red wine, try a light red wine from the Beaujolais wine area.

Can I buy aligot ready made in a French supermarket?

Yes, you can buy the ready-made version in French supermarkets.

We recommend to buy the ‘Aveyron Aligot’ from French brand ‘Reflets De France’ by Carrefour.

Are aligot and Robuchon potatoes the same?

Aligot and Robuchon potatoes are not the same.

Aligot is a traditional French dish made by combining mashed potatoes with melted cheese, creating a gooey and elastic texture.

In contrast, Robuchon potatoes, associated with the famous French chef Joël Robuchon, are renowned for their velvety smoothness, achieved through an abundance of butter and cream, without the addition of cheese.

The 3 best places where to eat aligot in Paris

Surely you will find this traditional potato dish in Parisian bistros and classic bouillons.

Are you looking for some good restaurants in Paris that serve aligot and have good reviews?

Here are 3 of them that you can check out on your next trip in Paris:

  1. L’Aligot: Located at 73 avenue Niel, Paris, 75017. They are open from Monday to Sunday from 12:00 – 15:30 and 19:00 – 23:30.
  2. L’Auberge Aveyronnaise: Located at 40 rue Gabriel Lame, Paris, 75012. They are open from Monday to Saturday from 12:00 – 23:30.
  3. Ambassade d’Auvergne: Located at 22 Rue du Grenier-Saint-Lazare, Paris, France. They are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00 – 14:00 and 19:00 – 22:00.

Bon appétit!

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