Cookisto / A French Bistro Classic Hachis Parmentier

Cookisto is going all Gallic this week with a French Bistro classic. I love Bistro grub, it’s unpretentious, tasty and, usually, very affordable. Paris on a cold, wet day sitting in a toasty, steamed up bistro with a big bowlful of Cassoulet or Hachis Parmentier is my idea of heaven. Unfortunately, bistros are not as common in France today as they were 30 years ago, although there are are a couple of family run bistros surviving in London. There’s a cracking one in Brighton, which includes steamy windows, but it’s a bit too far for lunch!

To say Hachis Parmentier’s a French version of Cottage Pie, is being a little too simplistic. BTW ‘hachis' means ‘chopped’ as in ‘hatchet’ and ‘parmentier’ is any dish that includes spuds. The French always make every day meals sound posh!

The meat (usually beef, although lamb is popular) is cut into small cubes rather that minced, then braised very slowly before the potato and cheese thatch. Unlike mince, you cannot make it with any old bits of meat and fat, as there is nowhere to hide.

I served it to friends for lunch recently and there was an unanimous thumbs up for it to go on the Cookisto menu – so here it is!

£9.00pp which includes baguette, from the bakery, and a veg – not sure what yet, but it will include cabbage. Zut Alhors – what a great dish for a winter Friday evening!