Pommes Aligot (Cheesy Mashed Potatoes)

Roger Stringer Roger Stringer
January 09, 2023
3 min read

Pommes Aligot is a slightly different take on mashed potatoes, this thick, stretchy, unbelievably rich dish from Aubrac, a once-volcanic region in south-central France. If you've never seen aligot before, imagine the perfect fusion of mashed potatoes with fondue, and you'll have just the right idea.

What You Need

  • 1 1/2 pounds (675g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, 1 whole and 1 minced, divided
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces; 115g), cut into tablespoon-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream (8 ounces; 235ml), plus more if needed
  • 10 ounces (300g) mixed Alpine cheeses, such as Swiss, Gruyère, Comté, and/or Fontina

How To Make It

  1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes and 1 whole clove garlic with cold water by at least 2 inches. Add thyme.
  2. Season water with salt until water is salty like tears.
  3. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until a knife easily pierces potatoes with no resistance, about 20 minutes.
  4. Drain potatoes in a colander; discard thyme.
  5. Using a ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest disk, purée potatoes back into saucepan, mixing butter cubes in as you go.
  6. Add remaining 1 clove minced garlic.
  7. Set saucepan over medium-low heat.
  8. Using a silicone spatula, stir potatoes well until butter and garlic are fully combined.
  9. Add cream and stir well until cream is fully incorporated.
  10. Continue stirring and working potatoes, lowering heat to low if potatoes begin to sizzle and steam, until potato mass feels thickened and sticky, about 3 minutes.
  11. Add grated cheese in small batches, stirring between each addition until cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
  12. Continue stirring potatoes until they become thick, silky, smooth, and elastic, about 3 minutes longer. The aligot should form long, stretchy strands when you lift it from the pot.
  13. Season with salt.
  14. The aligot should be thick, with a very slow-flowing viscosity, like cooling lava; if too thick, work in additional cream in small amounts until it is loose enough.
  15. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve right away.

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