Aligot

The name aligot can cause confusion; it is not only a cheese but also the potato dish which includes the cheese. (Leave aside an accented é, which would make it aligoté, that delicious, flinty wine which is an essential ingredient of the concoction that Canon Kir devised to help the ailing blackcurrant growers of Burgundy.) To confuse matters further, aligot is also known as tomme d’aligot or tomme fraîche and is a very good cheese in its own right. Try it in late spring through the summer when the cows are grazing on higher pastures. Aligot is a substantial dish best served in cold weather. I usually add the smaller amount of cheese but it largely depends on the nature of the rest of the meal; it’s possible that vegetarians would prefer to add more. In Britain the aligot cheese could reasonably be replaced with Caerphilly.

Ingredients

  • kg(2–3½ lb) floury potatoes
  • 225 g(8 oz) butter
  • 275 ml(½ pt) crème fraîche
  • milled pepper
  • 340–680 g(12–24) tomme d’aligot cheese
  • 1–2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped (optional)

Method

Scrub the potatoes and cook them in their skins in salted water until tender. Drain and peel.

Purée the potatoes through a mouli-légumes on the finest setting or push through a fine sieve.

Melt the butter in the potato pan and add the crème fraîche and the pureed potatoes. Season with pepper and add the cheese. Cook, stirring over medium heat, for 7–10 minutes or until the cheese starts to make strings. Add the garlic if desired and turn into a hot serving dish. Serves many.

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