This is my second time making hachis parmentier. The last time I made it, I didn’t have a proper oven; this time I did. Hachis parmentier is the French equivalent of Shepard’s Pie minus the vegetables. The dish consists of ground beef in between layers of mashed potato. It’s then topped with a crusty layer of gruyere and parmesan cheese. Doesn’t sound like Shepard’s Pie anymore, does it?
The dish’s name comes from Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a promoter of potato as a food source. He conducted several publicity stunts to make the potato popular. Parmentier would host dinners with potato dishes being the main course. Famous guests included Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier. He would increase the perception of value of the potatoes by hiring armed guards to protect his potato patches. But he would tell the guards to accept bribes and allow the people to steal potatoes. Nothing like building perceptions.
- 2 lbs. of potato
- 1/4 cup of whole milk
- 400g. of ground beef
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 3 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 handful of chopped parsley leaves
- Gruyere cheese
- Grate Parmesan cheese
- Black Pepper
- Peel potatoes and cut each one into four pieces. Boil them in water until tender.
- While the potatoes are boiling, chop onion, garlic cloves, and parsley.
- Coat a pan with butter and fry the chopped onion and garlic cloves for 1 minute.
- Mix the ground beef in the same pan as the onion and garlic. Cover and stir occasionally.
- Take out potatoes and start mashing. Add butter and milk. Season it with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix and mash until mashed potato is easy to stir. If it's still hard to stir, add a little more milk.
- Check the ground beef. Season it with salt, pepper, and nutmeg as well. Throw in the chopped parsley. Combine well. When done, drain any oil from the ground beef. Set aside.
- Heat up oven to 200° C.
- In a gratin dish, spread the mashed potato as the first layer covering the dish. For the second layer, spread the ground beef. For the third and last layer, spread the rest of the mashed potato.
- Sprinkle grated parmesan and gruyere cheese on the top.
- Place dish in oven until the top is golden brown. When the crust is formed, take out of the oven and serve.