Pommes Aligot (Cheesy Mashed Potatoes)
Roger Stringer • January 09, 2023
2 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.
- 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
- In a large saucepan, cover potatoes and 1 whole clove garlic with cold water by at least 2 inches. Add thyme.
- Season water with salt until water is salty like tears.
- 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.
- Drain potatoes in a colander; discard thyme.
- Using a ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest disk, purée potatoes back into saucepan, mixing butter cubes in as you go.
- Add remaining 1 clove minced garlic.
- Set saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Using a silicone spatula, stir potatoes well until butter and garlic are fully combined.
- Add cream and stir well until cream is fully incorporated.
- 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.
- Add grated cheese in small batches, stirring between each addition until cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
- 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.
- Season with salt.
- 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.
- Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve right away.