Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hachis Parmentier

I prefer to prepare dinner when kids are in school.
When I pick them up from school, the first thing they ask is
"Mommy, what are we having for dinner tonight?"

Well. tonight it's just me and the kids.
I decided to make them one of their favorite French dish - Hachis Parmentier.

Hachis Parmentier is truly a French classic.
It was named after Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a French pharmacist, nutritionist, and inventor.
In the late 18th century, he was instrumental in the promotion of the potato as an edible crop.
The word "Hachis" means chopped or minced.

It's a wonderful, delicious and simple dish.
Every time I make it, it brings sweet childhood memories back.

 For 6 people

1.5 lbs ground beef
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup water
1/2 cup gruyère cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

4 potatoes
1 cup milk, warm
2 tablespoons butter

Heat oil in a skillet and brown beef, 5 to 7 minutes
Add shallot, parsley, bay leaf, nutmeg and salt/pepper. Cook another 5-7 minutes.
Add water and let meat cook until water has evaporated- about 30 minutes.
Remove bay leaf.

In a medium saucepan, bring some water to a boil.
Add potatoes and cook until tender.
Drain potatoes.
In the same saucepan, add milk and butter. Bring to a boil.
Add cooked potatoes and puree with a fork or a whisk - add more milk if necessary.
Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees
In an oven proof dish (or 4 individual dishes), arrange a layer of mashed potato, then a layer of meat, and finish with a layer of mashed potato.
Sprinkle cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Serve warm. Enjoy!

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