This hachis parmentier is a classic French potato and beef bake. And it is highly delicious! It is a very simple recipe that consists of 2 layers of cooked beef mince and creamy mashed potatoes.
So have you ever heard of this hachis parmentier before?
Oh I make this treat quite often, especially on colder days in the winter. Because this is total comfort food. I mean, what do you expect when you read the ingredients that you need to make this dish?
A light and healthy low carb salad?
We want comfort food, that comes steaming hot on the dinner table.
Straight from the oven of course! So what exactly goes into it?
Ground beef. Potatoes. And then a bunch of other stuff. Very easy ingredients. Which also means that there’s absolutely no room for error here.
How could you possibly mess this hachis parmentier up then?
Well I once made this French oven bake… with the wrong type of potatoes.
No kidding. It is strange though. Because I usually know my potatoes. But the day that it all went wrong, I suspect that I made this hachis parmentier as a last minute dinner.
So what went wrong?
Well I used sticky potatoes instead of the floury one. Which obviously means that my mashed potatoes were gooey and tacky and looked like glue. But I needed to put dinner on the table. So because I didn’t have a backup plan to make it right, I added the sticky potato mash anyway.
Once the hachis parmentier came out of the oven and I started scooping portions onto our plates, the whole thing just collapsed and looked more like a potato soup with ground beef in it.
So make you to use the right floury potatoes!
Easy Hachis Parmentier, A French Classic
Hachis refers to the beef in this recipe.
I spread a very thin layer of mash on the bottom of the dish right before I add the mince. By doing that then any cooking juice coming from the cooked beef will be absorbed instead of forming a pool of liquid on the bottom.
Viande hachée means ground meat in French.
The parmentier tells you that this dish contains a layer of mashed potatoes. But if you see ‘parmentier’ on a French menu, it doesn’t mean at all that it is this classic hachis parmentier.
Parmentier Oven Bake
The lower layer will consist of a protein such as shredded lamb, confit duck, smoked trout or salmon. Even a vegetarian parmentier exists, for instance with wild mushrooms.
So for example ‘parmentier de canard’ means that it contains a layer of confit duck, covered by a layer of creamy mashed potatoes.
And ‘parmentier d’agneau’ for instance is a lamb parmentier. Which is also a very popular dish in France: usually leftover roast lamb meat is used in it.
I make that one very often after we have had roast lamb for dinner.
And that is what is so nice: you can incorporate leftovers in a parmentier!
Do you want to try it out yourself?
Back to this hachis.
It might look or sound quite familiar maybe because this French hachis resembles a traditional British shepherd’s pie.
The only difference here is the fact that this French version contains beef, whereas a shepherd’s pie is usually made of lamb mince.
Here is something that I picked up while I was looking for a little background information about this hachis parmentier.
Well surprisingly this hachis parmentier recipe is not that unknown in this world. Credits for that go to the ever so wonderful Julia Child who kind of introduced us all to the beautiful world of French cooking.
I couldn’t really come up with her recipe. But she mentioned this recipe for this hachis parmentier before somewhere.
My hachis parmentier recipe is the classic one. I love to serve it with a simple vinegary green salad.
Do you love classic French recipes?
Then you should also try my bearnaise sauce!
Easy French Hachis Parmentier Recipe
This delicious hachis parmentier is a French classic. It is a very simple oven bake that consists of 2 layers of cooked beef mince and creamy mashed potatoes.
- 2 ½ lbs ground beef (1125 g)
- 2 lbs floury potatoes (900 g)
- 1 small onion
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 medium garlic cloves
- 1 cup dry white wine (240 ml)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- a handful fresh parsley chopped
- a handful cheese grated
- 1/2 cup whole milk (120 ml)
Peel the potatoes and dice them into small bits. Add them to a large casserole, add a dash of salt and lots of water until the potatoes are submerged.
Place it over high heat until boiling. Cook until tender and then drain them. In the meantime peel the onion and garlic. Add them to another casserole together with 2 tablespoons of butter and the bay leaves.
Place it over medium heat and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and the white wine. Season with a pinch of pepper, salt and nutmeg.
Stir well and then add the minced beef.
Break the mince up a bit and stir well again. Put a lid on the pan and let the beef cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir regularly and ad extra wine or water if necessary. Make sure the beef doesn’t burn. It should be nicely moist in the end, the wine should have disappeared more or less.
Check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or nutmeg to taste if necessary. Stir in the freshly chopped parsley.
Take the beef off the heat and let it cool a little. In the meantime add the drained potatoes back to the casserole you cooked them in. Add the rest of the unsalted butter.
Mash the potatoes up. Season with a good dash of pepper, salt and nutmeg. Pour in the whole milk.
Mash them again until creamy. Then spread a little layer of the potato mash in a baking dish (this will absorb any juice coming from the cooked beef).
Top with the cooked beef mince.
Finish with the rest of the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake the parmentier in a preheated over at 400°F (200°C) for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve hot.