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.