In fine dining, Hachis Parmentier is a dish made with mashed, baked potato, combined with diced meat and sauce lyonnaise. In general use, a simpler version is the French equivalent of cottage or shepherd’s pie.
2 tbsp olive oil
100g smoked streaky bacon
(or pancetta), finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1kg minced beef
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 x 750ml bottle fruity red wine
(such as shiraz or shiraz blend)
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 good-quality beef stock cube, crumbled
2 tsp sugar
2 large sprigs fresh thyme, leaves
3 fresh bay leaves
chopped parsley, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1.25kg floury potatoes, peeled and
cut into chunks
1–2 tbsp full-cream milk
3–4 tbsp parmesan, finely grated
1 Heat oil in a saucepan, add bacon and fry for 1–2 minutes or until lightly golden. Add onion, celery and carrot and fry gently until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and fry for 1–2 minutes and then add beef and fry until it, too, is lightly browned. Add tomato puree, wine, 300ml water, cloves, stock cube, sugar, thyme and bay leaves. Simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes until the liquid has almost disappeared but the mixture is still moist. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Spoon beef mixture into a 1.75 litre shallow ovenproof dish.
2 To make potato topping, put potato in a large saucepan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, leave until steam stops and then pass through a potato ricer back into the saucepan or mash until smooth. Stir in butter and milk to make a smooth, creamy mash.
3 Preheat oven to 200C/fan or 180C/gas. Spoon potato mash over beef mixture and roughen the surface with a fork. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 30–35 minutes until bubbling hot and golden brown. Serve immediately.