Hachis parmentier is a traditional French dish. This concoction commonly involves using mashed or grated potatoes in a unique presentation that some cooks have compared to cottage pie or shepherd’s pie, with some recipes originating within the United Kingdom. Other main ingredients include meat and vegetable pieces.
The sauce that is most often used in this French "potato hash" is a lyonnaise sauce, a wine-based, strongly flavored sauce. This sauce is made from white wine, vinegar, and onions, or other similar ingredients. The sauce most often accompanies the meat portion of the dish.
In many cases, hachis parmentier is served in a potato shell. Other versions of the dish are made with a round or square compacted portion of mashed potatoes on the top of the dish, and a meat component underneath. Many of these are topped with spring onions, greens, or other garnishes.
Typical vegetable ingredients in hachis parmentier are similar to those in a variety of traditional soups. Celery, carrots, and onions will often be part of this dish. Garlic is used frequently to give the dish even more flavor.
In terms of spices for hachis parmentier, many cooks just use salt and pepper to flavor the dish. Some may use a bay leaf, or other aromatics like rosemary, oregano, sage, or parsley. Modern versions of this dish might include even more exotic spice components designed to work harmoniously with other aspects of the dish.
Common varieties of hachis parmentier include braised beef. Some might also include pork sausage or a similar processed meat ingredient. Beef stock is often used in the sauce or, in a thickened form, for binding the dish together.
The traditional presentations of hachis parmentier offer flexibility for those who want to fit this dish into a menu for a more cosmopolitan or modern audience. The “cut-out” look of portions of this dish indicate that any kind of cooking container could be used to shape portions or batches in different ways, which can have a dramatic effect on how these dishes are perceived by diners. Many of these meals are cooked in pie tins or similar rounded containers, or in rectangular pans, where specific portions are cut out and plated. Others are served in small round single-serving crocks.
Hachis parmentier is essentially a recipe that many have used to serve up leftovers from other dishes. The classic French dish of beef and carrots, or a beef stew or roast, can lead the cook to make leftovers into hachis parmentier. Anything with a heavy meat component can provide the stock ingredients for this versatile meat and potato feast.