This is the ultimate potato dish, on a par with a dauphinoise and with as many calories. It is best described perhaps as melted cheese with a bit of potato purée added for good measure. Aligot is from the Massif Central region in France and is usually made with a Cantal cheese which I buy from the website frenchclick.co.uk. You can make it with Tomme (there are some British Tomme cheeses now being made) or try a raclette cheese. A cheddar would be acceptable but one that is relatively mild. If you want to make it in advance you can cook the potatoes up to the end of stage 2. I would add that a potato ricer and a good hand-held whisk are essential to get the correct texture for this potato dish.
- 1.3kg potatoes, Desirée or Maris Piper, peeled and cut into 5-6cm pieces
- 300ml whole milk
- 100ml whipping cream
- 30g butter
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 300g Cantal cheese, grated
- Place the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Drain well then mash with a potato ricer (for the best results) or a potato masher.
- Place the milk, cream, butter and garlic in a small saucepan and heat to just below boiling point. Beat into the potatoes until smooth.
- Place the potatoes over a low heat and beat in the cheese. I use an electric whisk to avoid arm ache. Continue to beat over the heat until the potatoes are velvety smooth. Taste and season with salt if necessary and a little black pepper. Serve as soon as possible. If you need to you can keep the potatoes warm in a low oven for up to 30 minutes.