"Hachis Parmentier" (French Cottage Pie)
The history of the potato began 8000 years ago on the high plateaus of the Andes. It was introduced in Europe around 1570 with the Spanish Conquistadors.
When it arrived in France, it was sulked and served only to feed the animals.
It was only in the 18th century that Antoine Auguste Parmentier, apothecary of the armies but also agronomist and nutritionist, succeeded in making people recognise the quality of the potato. He boasted to the French King Louis XVI the merits of the tuber by serving him several potato dishes. The King appreciates and authorises its consumption.
Parmentier recommended it to solve the famine problems ravaging France at the time. For the people to eat, he performed a ruse in 1786:
He had potato fields planted near Paris, and asked the King to have them guarded by guards during the day alone. At night, attracted, the inhabitants stole the precious tubers to eat them.
Antoine Parmentier invented several recipes based on potatoes including its famous "HACHIS PARMENTIER" ("HACHIS" meaning minced meat) and published them in the Gazette de France: the reference journal of the time.
The Hachis Parmentier reminds one of the "Cottage Pie" which appeared at the same time. "Cottage" means a modest dwelling for rural workers.
Ingredients (Serve 4)
- 400 g minced beef meat
- 600 g potatoes for mashing (Draga, Fianna, Ilam Hardy, Vivaldi…)
- 100g of fresh cream
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 pinch of mixed herbs
- 1 egg yolk
- 30 g grated Parmesan cheese
- 30 g of butter
- Cook the potatoes, mash them to obtain a purée by adding the cream.
- Mix with a whisk to make it lighter.
- Salt, pepper.
- Chop onion and garlic.
- Sauté in butter until tender.
- Add diced tomatoes, minced meat, flour, salt, pepper and mixed herbs.
- Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
- When everything is cooked, turn off the heat and add the egg yolk and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Spread meat in a gratin dish.
- Spread mashed potatoes over the meat. Sprinkle with bread crumbs (you can replace with grated cheese).
- Bake for about 20 minutes.