Garlic Cheesy Mash Potatoes

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Here is one that is suitable to English potatoes. It is a purely local country dish which I came across at Entraygues, a little town on the confluence of two rivers, the Lot and the Truyère, in south-western France. It was described to me by a very ancient lady in the shop where I was buying local cooking pots, and the proprietress of the hotel where we were staying obligingly cooked it for us.
Extract from French Provincial Cooking, Elizabeth David, 1977


Serves 4
795g (1¼lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes * 85g (3oz) butter * 2 garlic cloves, crushed * 3 tbsp milk * 310g (11oz) Cantal or mild cheddar, grated

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and add garlic. Drain the potatoes and mash them. Then put the mashed potato through a sieve to give a really smooth purée. (Do not attempt to use a food processor, otherwise you’ll end up with glup). Return the potato purée to the saucepan over a gentle heat and add the garlic butter and milk. Mix together well and then add the cheese, handful by handful. Beat in the cheese. Once the cheese has melted, the mixture will be stretchy. Season with salt and pepper before serving. Perfect with Beef Bourguignon or Tarragon Chicken.

Note: if you don’t fancy cheesy mash, just omit the cheese. It tastes just as good – and how I personally prefer it!

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