Hachis Parmentier (Daring Cooks Dec' 12: Paté Chinois)

I was both relieved and dreadful when this month's Daring Cooks selection was revealed.

On one side of things, I was dreading the whole meat and potato layered in a dish combination.

On the other hand, I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to nudge me into making a recipe that I had been avoiding for a very long time in my mission to cook all the way through Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.

Sometimes, the Universe just won't let you run away from something forever, right?

You run in the opposite direction and it U-turns you right back around.


It turns out that I liked this a lot more than I thought I would.

I will probably never be 100% on the "meat pie" train, but I have definitely found one that I can live with.

The original recipe for Dorie Greenspan's Hachis Parmentier can be found here on the NPR website. Below is my "shortcut" version.

Hachis Parmentier
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

1 lb cube steak, cut into 1/2" to 1" pieces
1/2 pound bulk sausage (I used spicy), broken up
1 small onion, sliced
2 small carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2" pieces
1 small celery stalk, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 Tbs tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 cups beef broth
2 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature + 1 Tbs butter cut into 4 pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup grated Gruyere
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
To make the filling:
Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the cube steak and sausage until just cooked through. Transfer cooked meat to a plate and set aside. Drain most of the fat from the skillet and add in the onions, carrots and celery. Saute for ~ 5 minutes, until vegetables soften and just start to pick up color. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Return the meat to the pan and stir in the tomato paste and one cup of the broth. Bring to a boil and reduce the liquid by about half - you don't want the meat still to be moist. Season to taste with salt and pepper Place mixture in the bottom of a buttered 2-quart oven safe casserole.
To make the topping:
Place the potatoes in a large pot of well-salted cold water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork (~20 minutes). Toward the end of the cooking time, warm the milk and heavy cream and preheat the oven to 400 F (center a rack in the oven and line a large baking sheet with tin foil or parchment paper).

When the potatoes are done, drain well. Return to the potatoes to the pot and cook for a minute or two to remove excess moisture. Mash the potatoes well with a potato masher (someone with a strong arm is helpful here...). Stir in the milk or cream, then add the 3 Tbs butter. Season with salt & pepper.

Spread the potato mixture evenly over the meat filling - be sure to reach the ends of the casserole dish. Sprinkle the grated cheeses evenly over top and scatter the butter bits on top.

Place the casserole on the baking sheet (drip catcher) and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes - until filling is bubbling and the top is golden.

Let rest ~ 5 minutes and serve.

This post participates in The Daring Cooks. Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!


  1. glad you ended up liking it - do stop by and check mine out if you have a moment - http://gourmetglobal.blogspot.com/2012/12/pate-chinois.html

  2. Congrats on braving the dreaded challenge. I share your opinions and applaud your positive attitude.

  3. I loved making this with ffwD! Tasty looking rewind!

  4. Great job! Your Shepherd's Pie looks delicious!

  5. Oh, yum - you picked a definite winner on this one. I am so glad you decided to go with it, despite not being a huge fan of meat pies :) Great work!

  6. Mmmm your shepherds pie looks fantastic :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. We loved this one, but then I'm a meat pie fan from way back (tourtière at Christmas every year will do that, I guess). Your photos are making me want to revisit this!

  8. So glad uou got to make this dish- from memory, I liked it a lot, but I am a meat pie loving girl.

  9. Oh man, I am not only on the meat pie train - I think I may be the conductor. This looks so yummy to me!

  10. This was one of my favorites and I have made it several times in different manners ever since. Thanks for the reminder that it is meat pie season once again!


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