Aligot (French Mashed Potatoes)

The first time I saw this recipe, I pretty much just breezed right over it.  After all, mashed potatoes are something I’ve never used a recipe for.  I make them as I go along, not measuring anything, and seasoning to taste.  They are always wonderful – why bother with a recipe?  I don’t remember what caused me to give these a second look but clearly I wasn’t paying enough attention the first time.  These aren’t just mashed potatoes.  These are ooey gooey cheesy mashed potatoes, with Gruyere for crying out loud.  In any case, I decided these would be the perfect side dish for the garlic rosemary roast chicken, and I was right.

This recipe was surprisingly easy to make with the help of the food processor.  Plus, I get such a kick out of shredding cheese and things with the food processor – it never fails to amuse me!  I normally don’t have much patience for involved side dishes but this one was pretty low maintenance, and the end result was completely worth any extra effort this required compared to my regular mashed potatoes.  I mean, mashed potatoes that can do that kind of stretching are a very good thing in my book.

Aligot (French Mashed Potatoes)
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2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes (about 4-6)
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1-1½ cups whole milk
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
Ground black pepper

Peel, rinse, and chop the potatoes into ½-1 inch chunks.  Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or pot, and cover with water, salting lightly.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium-low and cook until the potatoes are tender and easily break apart when poked with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.  Wipe out the pan for later use.

Add the butter, garlic, and salt to the potatoes in the food processor.  Pulse until the butter is melted and incorporated into the potatoes, about 10 brief pulses.  Add 1 cup of the milk through the feed tube and continue to process until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Return the potato mixture to the now empty saucepan and set over medium heat.  Mix in the cheeses until completely melted and incorporated, stirring frequently.  The mixture will be thick and elastic.  If the mixture is too thick or difficult to stir, add the remaining ½ cup of milk a little bit at a time until the texture is loose and creamy.  Adjust seasonings as necessary with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Source: adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Cook’s Illustrated

27 Responses

  1. Oh my, be still my heart!! You see, my husband and I have been talking about these potatoes for about a year. In only a few weeks, May 1 to be exact, we will be the in the Auvergne area of France where this potato dish comes from. We travel to see and to eat with emphasis on the eating. We want to experience all the local dishes. Your potatoes look so good. I can hardly wait and then I will try your recipe when we get home. Thank you so much for sharing. Susan

  2. Holy delicious potatoes! These look amazing!!

  3. It looks yummy, and creamy, and rich, and a little stringy bec of the mozzarella, and smooth, and velvety.. Im already eating it with my eyes! U

  4. Wow! These look so cheesy and delicious! You had me at gruyere 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness! I had these in France years ago when I was traveling in high school, and I have been searching for this recipe ever since. That and this pasta dish made with apples. Love French food! Thank you!

  6. i have never met mashed potatoes that looked this smooth and creamy!

  7. Aren’t these so weird?! I thought the stretchiness was really fun. That second photo shows off their unique texture perfectly.

  8. I just gave you an award!! You can pick it up at Shamrock and Shenanigans

  9. That looks obscenely good!

  10. mmmm… yummmmm…

  11. I’m fascinated! Am I wrong, or do these seem like a cross between mashed potatoes and fondue? Yum.

  12. Oh Wow! This is definitely going on my must-try list of recipes.

  13. Wow. This looks so interesting. I must try this out. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I’ve always been afraid to do mashed potatoes in the processor for fear that they would get overworked. I’m assuming they weren’t gummy?

    • Barbara,
      It’s difficult to say because the texture of these is so different from regular mashed potatoes. All the cheese makes them gooey and stringy – but I wouldn’t call them gummy.

  15. These potatoes look beyond good. I will have to give those a try.

  16. How bizarre! I’ve never seen potatoes do that before. I agree with Appetite for Conversation, it does look like fondue! I feel compelled to dip bread in it..

  17. my favorite!! your aligot looks delightful!

  18. Those look unbelievable! I am definitely going to give them a try.

  19. can i use an electric mixer or blender instead of a food processor?

    • I don’t think that would really work in this recipe, because the whole point is the super smooth texture of the potatoes, which is achieved by the food processor.

  20. I LOVED the flavor of this but HATED the texture! :-\ It overflowed through the bottom of my food processor and made a giant mess. I don’t know if I didn’t add enough milk or if it just wasn’t for me? I absolutely LOVED the addition of the two cheeses though so I will make my normal mashed potatoes and add the cheeses in with them. YUM!

  21. Hi Anne,
    Just discovered your site, it’s amazing!!! What would happen if you made these earlier in the day and then heated them in the oven closer to dinner time? Would they be ruined? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Leslie,
      I wouldn’t say they would be “ruined”, but they won’t be quite the same. I ate them as leftovers and they tasted good, but the texture wasn’t the same as the awesomeness when they were freshly made.

  22. Hi Annie,
    How many side serves would this make?
    Thanks, Meaghan

    • Meaghan,
      I’m really not sure. Maybe 4-6? I think it’s better to just look at the ingredients and guesstimate yourself based on who you are feeding.

  23. Hi Annie,
    Thank you so much. Made this the other night and it was divine! While the stretchiness wasn’t the same, the flavor of the cheeses seems to have come out more the day after.

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