The Best Cheesy Mashed Potatoes Are France's Pommes Aligot

There’s no wrong way to enjoy potatoes. Unless you’re eating them raw out of the ground, chances are potatoes will be delicious no matter how they’re cooked. But that same natural deliciousness is what makes them such a versatile ingredient. You can add so many elements to potatoes to make them even more enticing. 

One of the best examples of this is Pommes Aligot, or Potato Aligot. This French speciality from the countryside is traditionally made with Tomme de Laguiole (Tomme fraîche), or Tomme d'Auvergne cheese and enjoyed as a side with sausages or roast pork. As with all things French, the choice of cheese is crucial and affects the final profile of the dish. Mild cheese that’s not too salty is preferred and to get the best consistency drier, less waxy potatoes should be used. 

According to legend, Aligot was once made for pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain who stopped for the night and the original recipe was made with bread instead of potatoes which were introduced when the dish travelled over to France. Today it is a staple at gatherings and celebrations but is also a favourite as a homely comfort food.


  • 2 kg potatoes
  • 100 gm butter
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 kg grated mild cheese (like gruyere)
  • 1 kg fresh grated mozzarella cheese
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper


  • Peel the potatoes and dice into 1-inch cubes. In a large pot cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boiling. Once boiled take off the lid and simmer on a low heat until forl tender, around 15 minutes. 
  • Drain the potatoes and allow to cool for 5 minutes. With a potato masher or mill, finely mash the potatoes and then return them to the pot. 
  • Add the butter and cream until the residual heat has melted the butter. Stir together into a smooth paste.
  • Add the cheese and beat the potatoes with a spoon until they come together into a stringy, elastic texture.
  • Season withe salt and pepper and serve warm.