Celery Root Mashed with Sage Ground Beef — Purée de céleri rave et hachis à la sauge

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling Clementine Potato,
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry Clementine

The story of hachis parmentier

I am married with an Irish man, you know this by now. And guess what, when I cook one particular ingredient, it does not matter under what form, he likes it. Irish? Have a guess. Les bonnes pommes de terre (Good old potatoes)!

I can admit that I fully agree with him and share the same love for this special ingredient. After all, it was a staple product for many many years throughout Europe. In France of course, we are known to eat a lot of potatoes, French fries as odd as it seems, although we the French tend to believe that the country that mostly eats French fries is Belgium. Nos amis les belges! (our friends the Belgians) with Des frites, une fois! We like to tease them with this. Des frites, une fois! One of the most common dish remains “steak, frites, salade” (Steak, French fries and salad) which is still my dad’s favorite meal above all. But there are many more to potatoes than fries, thank God!

I grew up with hachis parmentier as a traditional meal and remember being in total joy when my mum would tell us that she had made one for lunch or dinner.

What is it?

Mashed potatoes, ground meat (beef) and its juice, arranged in layers in a dish with cheese on top, cooked in the oven to be gratiné (au gratin).

This dish is a great idea to keep in mind because it allows you to recycle any beef stew type leftovers (but any meat to your liking can do the trick). If you do not have beef leftovers, then just use ground beef that you cook as if to make a sauce to accompany pasta. This is precisely what I did for the dish that follows. I used the main idea of hachis parmentier but I changed a lot the ingredients and the cooking methods.

What happened though in the course of its preparation

I tried to take shortcuts, be smarter and faster and I paid the price for it.

  • I did not use my presse-purée to make the mashed celery/potato (and that is a real killer for the outcome of the mashed vegetables, la purée!) This is a big No No! Using a food processor to make the mashed potatoes is a big mistake.

  • My milk was not warm and again, bad mistake.

I tried to be lazy. Mauvaise idée! (bad idea!) There are reasons why you have to do things a certain way. However, experimenting was not a bad thing after all as it made me aware of things I will simply do differently next time. In the end, the taste was nice (which is what matters! ah!). It could just have looked nicer, which matters too!

A bit of history


Hachis parmentier is the name given to this very traditional French dish. Hachis in French means ground beef, and for this particular dish, usually comes from leftovers of pot-au-feu (beef stew) or boeuf à la mode (beef with carrots), and Parmentier (proper noun) comes from Antoine Parmentier (1737 –1813) who was a strong advocate and promoter of the cultivation of the potato as a food source in Europe in those days (including France). Incidentally, if you were to shop at a French butcher’s for beef ground meat as an example, you would simply ask: “Je voudrais du hachis [a∫i] de boeuf, s’il vous plaît!” French is easy!

There exist a lot of recipes and variations for this dish. The original Hachis parmentier uses meat but it is very possible now to find a lot of different appetizing versions, some with fish as an example. Pascale for example suggests this fish version here, which I think is a great idea.

Celery Root Mashed with Sage Ground Beef

(for 4 people)

You need:

The meat

  • 250 g ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • A dash of dry white wine (I added perhaps 1 tbsp)
  • 1 julienned carrot
  • 1 celery branch

Celery root- Potato mashed

  • 4 -5 potatoes
  • Half medium-sized celery root
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (more or less, it depends on your preference)
  • Milk (1/2 cup), adjust according to consistency
  • Salt and pepper


Start with the mashed potato-celery.

  • Peel the potatoes and celery. Cook in water with salt for about 20 mns.
  • Drain and mix (with a presse-purée!)
  • Add the heated milk and lemon. Season with pepper.

The meat

  • Chop the onion and garlic thinly.
  • Julienne your carrot and chop the celery branch in small pieces.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the onion and garlic.
  • Cool for a few mns before adding the julienned carrot and the celery.
  • Cook for 4 mns and add the ground meat.
  • Continue cooking on medium heat for a few mns and then add a dash of white wine.
  • Add the sage, parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer covered for about 20 mns.

To make your layered cakes

  • Take a round mold and place a layer of mashed potato/celery. (note: you can decide to make a large dish, in which case take an greased oven dish and place the layers in the same way ; it is also easier)
  • On top, place a layer of cooked meat and finish with a layer of mashed celery/potato.
  • You can add some grated cheese (gruyère or any flavored cheese) on top before placing in the preheated oven 425 F (220 C) for about 20 mns, until the top is golden (I had not added cheese).
  • Decorate with a piece of carrot peel and fresh sage. Serve with a fresh green salad.

I cannot wait to try it again (and eat it mainly), but next time, I will not be skipping essential steps in the process. Never caught twice!

Posted in French Inspired, Gluten Free, Meat


  1. ooh, another great creation! yes, belgium had a LOT of fries…would you happen to know why they eat them with mayo?
    love your photo!

  2. miam! je viens de poster également une purée de céléri-rave, mais ta recette me redonne envie d’autre chose! et puis la sauge…oh oh oh! c’est bon!

  3. Delicious. I especially love the idea of the sage with the ground beef. I am not very familliar with celery root but I must look for it and try it now. Thank you! Merci, Bea!

  4. No, Bea, that is just not possible! Stop teasing me with those gorgeous dishes! I am SO hungry now that I have read (and seen) this. Another one of your recipes to try!!
    I never heard of lemon purée. Another thing to give a try to!

  5. Bea, you are such a riot! Full of little humorous tidbits and information! Interesting to learn something about Antoine Parmentier. I also like that presse-purée tool although I do use the italian schiacciapatate (potato ricer) to make mash.

    Cool that you wrote on potatoes, I was just drafting a post on those delicious tourtons from Champsaur!

  6. Whoops, I forgot… regarding your question about the Tartufo di Mare, I just cooked them in wine, garlic, and parsley and served them with spaghetti.

  7. can i be bad? this is similar to the english shepherds pie but more chic…….ask the irish man about the shepherd pies 😉

    I agree with you with potato and celery root mashed together its le fantastique

  8. I’ve eaten a hachi parmentier with duck, it was delicious… And this hachi with celery root it’s original.

  9. Mmm sounds delicious… I’m a big fan of sage => i must try this hachis asap !

  10. Thanks all for your comments!

    Yes if you like potatoes and comfort food, this is a good choice! 😉

    Fred, like you, I love sage! I think I can even eat it like this, you know! More recipes will follow with sage actually, as it is a favorite of mine.

    Rowena, good idea for the potato ricer. And def not the food processor, how silly I was!

    Kat, no idea about the mayo! I know some French people do that too!

  11. Oh, this looks scrumptious! Love a good hachis parmentier, but I’ve never tried a celery purée, and I live in France! It’s seems to be a common thing so where I have been hiding? Anyway, I love the sage addition. Cooking with sage gives such a delightly aroma to the entire house, n’est-ce pas?

  12. a new version of “hachis parmentier” !
    I just discovered your blog : gorgeous recipes and pictures : bravissimo

  13. Thanks AnneCuisine, yes give it a try! Sage is a great herb!
    Hi Danielle68, thank you! I am glad you like it!

  14. Cannot wait to try! Mayo with pommes frites is the BOMB!
    how do you say 250 grams in French?

  15. whoops….I think I meant pommes frites with mayo are the BOMB!

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