Flavours of the Aveyron…
Having been privileged to meet one of France’s top (3 Michelin stars) chefs, Michel Bras, I was curious to know more about the two dishes which he said for him, summed up the essence of the Aveyron. Aligot and Flaune are his choices…
Classic French Aligot recipe
Aligot is a dish that’s been attributed to the monks of the Aubrac, who devised it from local produce to provide sustained sustenance to the passing pilgrims on their way to Conques and Santiago de Compostela. Made with a purée of potatoes and local cheese (Tome de l’Aubrac or Laguiole) it’s a dish that’s vaguely reminiscent of a fondue and has a slightly nutty flavour. I’ve read that you can substitute the Tome cheese (a hard, unpasteurised cheese made from cows milk) with mozzarella but I suspect that if you do so, you’re likely to lose an essential depth in the flavour.
I kg Potatoes
100 g Butter
250 g Crème fraiche
400 g Tome de l’Aubrac cheese
Salt and pepper
Cook and mash the potatoes and add the crème fraiche, salt and pepper. Cut the cheese into thin strips and add to the hot potatoes. Wait until the cheese melts and then it’s ready to serve.
Perfect for cool autumn days, cold winter days, crisp spring days, in fact any time! It’s easy to make, fun to serve and best served with a local red wine and some Toulouse sausages.
Michael Bras’ second choice for a typical dish of the Aveyron is Flaune, a sweet tart whose recipe dates back to the middle ages and you can find a recipe here.
You can find out more about the Aveyron region at www.tourisme-aveyron.com
Lucy Pitts is a freelance writer