Hachis parmentier takes me back to when I was ten. I had a sudden urge to buy a French paperback cookbook from the supermarket with my mom (الله يرحم والدينا) and this was the first recipe I cooked. It was like a family affair, everyone got involved! It’s heart warming to look back on.
So that cookbook is long lost, but I still remember the concept of the recipe, and came up with this.
Hachis Parmentier was developed by a French nutritionist way back in the 1700’s to encourage wholesome eating. The concept is easy: minced meat topped with mashed potato and baked until bubbling and golden.
I tried to avoid having a dry casserole, so since potatoes are starchy and absorb alot of moisture, I added a bit of extra stock to the meat. It was just the right amount of runny by the time it was ready to serve.
If you have any left over for the next day, it will be significantly firmer.
I envision variations, such as peas in the meat mixture, and/or cheese in the potato mash…
500g minced meat
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp powder onion
1/2 tsp powder garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cube stock
1 cup water
For the potato:
750g potatoes (about 3 large)
1 cup cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
Boil the potatoes until tender (I use a pressure cooker to cook them within half an hour while I make and finish preparing the meat).
In a pot saute the minced meat, thyme, powdered onion and garlic, salt and pepper, and the stock cube.
When the meat is all browned, add a cup of boiled water and simmer about 5 minutes until the water is slightly reduced but still significantly there.
Pour the meat and its water in an oven proof dish, and spread over the base. Set aside.
Peel the cooked potatoes while they are still hot or warm, and place them in a food processor with the cream, powdered garlic, and salt.
Process until smooth. Spread the potato purée (or decoratively pipe) over the minced meat.
Dot the potato with slivers of butter, and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 minutes.
Broil to give some color and serve.