“Can I have two pounds of veal stew?” I asked the stocky man standing behind the counter at the meat department. He did not seem to be in a rush, but I had to be quick to order since Lulu was starting to feel impatient in her stroller. Well, I thought, I would need to cut my shopping trip short. “Encore quelques minutes Lulu, j’ai juste quelques bricoles à acheter ! (Please, a few more minutes Lulu! I only have a few more things to buy,)” I whispered as I drew my head closer to hers.
But it was getting too long for her. So yes. I would not leisurely browse through the aisles of the store in search of new ingredients as I like to do, but instead, I would go to the point. I remembered my dad pointing out to how efficient my grocery shopping trip with him had been when they came to visit in February.
“Ah ben toi, tu ne perds pas de temps !” (you are not wasting time!) he said after we returned to the car. My shopping cart was full and paid for after only a twenty-minute trip.
“Je savais ce que je voulais ! (I knew what I wanted!),” I answered, laughing.
But I must admit that indeed, my shopping trips are following that pattern these days: well timed, so that I can get in and out quickly, and efficiently. It can be a juggle at times.
“Maman va préparer un ragoût de veau au citron et aux légumes printaniers,” (mummy will prepare a veal stew with lemon and spring vegetables) I told Lulu while buckling her tight into her car seat. She stared at me, then at her new Sophie the giraffe toy, and resumed munching on it greedily, like a hungry lioness.
“C’est bon la viande de girafe ?” I said with a smile, before giving her a large kiss on her chubby right cheek.
It was a nice spring day with generous sun and pleasant walking temperatures, and I was looking forward to the casual dinner I was going to cook for two of our friends that night. We would enjoy the veal stew, a side salad and then, to finish our meal, a refreshing verrine as dessert.
But things did not turn out the way I had imagined.
“Guess what!” I told P. when I called him at five pm, ready to start my cooking preps while Lulu was napping.
“They totally screwed up! I went on, quite annoyed.
“This guy at Whole Foods. He did not sell me veal but beef!”
“Oh no,” he exclaimed. “What are you going to do then?”
I did not have much time to rethink the whole menu. In fact, I literally had five minutes.
But surprisingly, a spontaneous idea came to my mind, and I thought about a dish my mum prepared often when I was young, one that made me think differently about beef.
“Well, I think we’ll eat a boeuf aux carottes.”
I remember how I became infatuated with this dish and how at the same time, I never really cared much for the dish itself. In truth, what I was always looking forward to was what my mum would invariably prepare with the leftovers – no surprise since she is also the queen of how to use leftovers. My dad likes to remind us often that “chez nous, on ne jette rien.” (Nothing is wasted at home!)
I’ve learned from them.
A hachis parmentier is the perfect way to accommodate leftovers. Recipes abound but the principle remains the same: use leftovers of any beef stew such as a boeuf aux carottes or a pot-au-feu, and top the meat layer with one of mashed potatoes. Simple and straightforward, it’s a dish that makes a full meal when it is served with a side salad. We love it.
Over the years, I’ve prepared many variations. Sometimes I use beef and at other times, I prefer meats like duck or chicken; sometimes I use potatoes, and at other times sunchokes, sweet potatoes or a blend of different root vegetables.
Both recipes worked like wonders.
We enjoyed dinner with our friends, and the following day, a hachis parmentier between the two of us.
“Do you think it’s my accent that played a trick on me?” I asked P., feeling still somewhat upset about the messed up meat order. I was still having cravings for a veal stew with lemon.
“I don’t care. I would have hachis parmentier any day!” he said, smiling.
I would too, in fact.
Invariably, we ask for more.
- Leftovers of beef stew (mine was a beef stew with carrots (boeuf aux carottes)) (about 10.5 oz)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb + 2 oz potatoes
- 2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and seeded, then diced
- 1 tablespoon double tomato concentrate
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/4 cup (+ more if needed) whole milk, warm
- Dash of ground nutmeg
- A few crushed red peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon butter + more to top
- Place the meat in the bowl of a food processor and chop it; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the shallot and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add the wine and let evaporate. Add the meat, broth from beef stew and sugar, and cook until most of the juice is evaporated. Add the parsley and check the seasoning.
- In the meantime, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 minutes or so, or until they are soft. Use a food mill to puree them. Season with salt and pepper and add the warm milk to reach the texture you like. Add the butter.
- Preheat the oven at 350 F. Butter a large dish (or individual ones) and add a layer of meat. Top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with nutmeg and red peppercorns. Add a few pieces of butter on top and cook in the oven for 35 minutes before placing under the broil for 5 more minutes. Serve warm with a green salad. Delicious!
- Les restes d’un ragoût de boeuf (j’ai utilisé ceux d’un boeuf aux carottes)) (environ 300 g)
- 1 càs d’huile d’olive
- 500 g de pommes de terre
- 2 tomates, blanchies, pelées et épépinées, puis coupées en dés
- 1 càs de double concentré de tomates
- 1 càc de sucre roux
- 2 càs de vin blanc sec
- 1 càs de persil haché
- 1 échalote, hachée
- 60 ml de lait entier chaud, ou plus selon besoin
- Pincée de muscade
- Quelques baies roses écrasées
- 1 càs de beurre + pour le dessus du hachis
- Mettez les restes de viande dans le bol de votre mixeur et hachez; mettez de côté.
- Faites chauffer 1 càs d’huile d’olive dans une poêle anti-adhésive. Ajoutez l’échalote et faites suer pendant 2 à 3 minutes. Ajoutez ensuite les tomates, le concentré de tomates et faites cuire sur feu modéré pendant environ 5 minutes.
- Ajoutez le vin et laissez évaporer avant d’ajouter la viande, le bouillon du ragoût et le sucre. Faites mijoter à feu doux jusqu’à ce que le jus soit presque évaporé. Ajoutez ensuite le persil et recfitiez l’assaisonement.
- Pendant ce temps, faites cuire les pommes de terre dans de l’eu bouillante salée. (20 minutes environ). Passez les au presse-purée. Assaisonnez de sel et de poivre et ajoutez le lait chaud et le beurre.
- Préchauffez le four à 180 C. Beurrez un plat à gratin et ajoutez une couche de viande. Couvrez de purée de pommes de terre. Ajoutez une pincée de muscade et de baies roses écrasées. Ajoutez quelques noisettes de beurre et faites cuire environ pendant 35 minutes. Passez sous le gril pendant 5 minutes, et servez bien chaud avec une salade verte. Délicieux !
This is a great entry. Makes me want to make either shepard’s pie or cottage pie…..variations of ; )
A wonderful post! This Hachis Parmentiers looks wonderful! Delicious…
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love the new look of your blog! and delicious looking dishes!
Le hachis parmentier est une valeur sûre. J’achète toujours plus de viande que nécessaire quand je fait du boeuf mijoté… pour qu’il y ait des restes et qu’on puisse se régaler d’un hachis le lendemain! Belles photos! Comment étaient préparées les verrines aux fraises?
I love the post Bea! It is so fun to read and gives me the idea that I have a little peek into your life..:) Great recipe!
Les photos sont magnifiques !
Ah, Sophie la girafe, intemporelle…;)
Mmm, Boeuf aux Carottes is an old favourite of mine. And Hachis Parmentier has become one of my Italian husband’s!
L´ hachis a l´air delicieux mais je aime plus le Bebe !!!
une des toutes premières recette que j’ai faite pendant mes cours d’économie familiale ^^! superbe billet! biz
your food looks delicious, now i want hachis parmentier for breakfast! the duck version sounds especially yummy. (but who ever has leftover duck?)
your lulu is beautiful. (i wonder why sophie the giraffe is loved by so many?)
I think it’d be hard to mistake “veal” for “beef” even if your accent is thick as cream but look at what came out of the mishap!! One of my favorite dishes! Gorgeous Bea! Little Lulu is growing fast and she is more beautiful each day!
Un vrai delice!
En Angleterre, nous avons le ‘sheppard’s pie’, base sur le meme principe, mais shhhhhh.. je prefere le hachis parmentier 😉
Bea, I love your recipes, photos and stories. Always an inspiration, though I don’t always make the time to reply.
I haven’t yet worked out whether you use clever flash photography to illuminate your photographs, or whether you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that has such fantastic light!
Le hachis parmentier est ce que l’on appelle chez nous un “pâté chinois” et on y met un rang de maïs entre la viande et la purée. Presque toutes les familles québécoises avaient l’habitude d’en faire au moins une fois par semaine quand j’étais petite. J’aime bien ta présentation!
I get so excited when I see a message with your latests posts in my inbox. Your photos are incredible– something for me to aspire to 🙂
Looks great! Love any idea to spruce up leftovers. Thanks for the cute baby pics too. Isn’t the bjorn great? I think it got us through the first year (some nights it was the only thing that worked). We actually used it until we maxed out on the weight limit!
Hi, your blog is always stun ^^ and also your magic on cooking.
My daughter is 1 year old now, i still recall somewhat you call ‘sweet stolent moment’
Have a nice day, and enjoy the moment!
Les photos et recettes sont toujours aussi superbes. Le petit bout de chou a des yeux magnifiques…ce blog est un régal pour les yeux. Merci.
One of my favorites for sure! such gorgeous spring photos and lulu is just too adorable!
merci pour ces photos… surtout celle de la princesse 😉
Qu’est-ce-qu’elle a grandi Lulu !!!
Ton hachis parmentier me fait envie !
How nice to hear from you and I love your new look and the baby is just gorgeous!
I’ve been looking at your blog for about a year and I have to say Im in love with it. I am a Private High School Senior that is obsessed with cooking, photography, travel, and food overall lol. Many times in Class I go over to your website and view your entries, recipes, and your gorgeous pictures. You are a real inspiration Béa and i thank you so much for sharing your life, and culture with the rest of the world. Your blog is tre magnifique!
You’re unflappable Béa! And I see you’ve redecorated. I like the new colors, very fresh.
A new look … I thought I was at the wrong spot for a moment. 😉 I’m not familiar with hachis parmentier, but it looks very good! No surprise there, though. Thanks for the little glimpse of Lulu and you, of course!
What a great way to use leftover beef stew. Your baby is adorable!
These look beautiful!
Ohhhhhh…can you PLEASE tell me where you got the glassware that you put the Hachis parmentier in? PLEASE??? I have been looking for something like that for a few years now (I saw them in NYC a long time ago but didn’t buy any and haven’t found them since).
Thanks for keeping us updated on Lulu…she is gorgeous! 🙂
If my meal that went wrong turned out so fantastic, I will be more than delighted! This looks lovely Bea!
so cute baby!
so yummy hachis parmentier~
What a shame about the mix up, however you’ve come up tops again! This looks incredible and what a gorgeous little baby girl you have… please give her a few chubby cheek kisses from me too! xxx
Lulu is absolutely gorgeous 🙂
Hachis parmentier is what I’d know as cottage pie I think, your version looks wonderful.
Elle est ravissante, mais je ne t’apprends rien, n’est ce pas? et les girafes Sophie… une institution! un énorme bisou à cette petite fille si parfaite!
Nothing can be better than a homemade dish like this one! Love also the verrines !
How lucky it would to be a guest for dinner. Lulu has much to look forward to.
j’avoue avoir été plus sensible à la salade de fraise qu’au hachis parmentier…mais il semble appétissant!!!
les fraises n’en parlons pas
It all looks delicious and your petite Lulu is just a doll!
Love the photos, enjoyed your story and Hachis Parmentier was one of my favorite cold weather meals to enjoy when I lived in Paris.
Thank you everyone! Sweet of you to leave such nice notes.
The glass dish is from Bodum 😉 As to the strawberry dessert, rhubarb compote, spiced panna cotta and fresh strawberries marinated in lime juice and sugar. Voilà !
I love the new site design, and your photos are as wonderful as ever. Especially the one with that little Lulu! Thanks for sharing!
Lulu is GORGEOUS!!!! She is so beautiful, Bea… More pics of Lulu, please!!!!
Hi Bea, the hachis parmentier looks so tasty !!
Many compliments for your marvellous blog.
Ciao from Italy.
Comme elle est belle, quelle petite choupette !
Quant au hachis, ça me donne des idées, merci !
Et j’adore le nouveau design moi aussi. Keep up the good work !
Your baby is looking beautiful, I hope the cookbook is coming along great!
Thank you for sharing this lovely post,:)
can we have the recipe for those little strawberry verrines?
What a beautiful blog and tantalizing recipes. I look forward to frequent visits.
baby Lulu looks sooo adorable… Hachis Parmentier is probably the French counterpart of the English Shepherd’s pie, huh?
I adore hachis parmentier – thanks for reminding me! Looks like you are having fun.
Merci beaucoup pour tout ces recettes
Hachis parmentier is a staple in my home. (My mom is French and so is my husband. Our children love this recipe with ground beef.) Thank you for sharing the lovely photos of the baby! Et pour Sophie, c’est tellement chere d’acheter ici! Sophie c’etait la meilleur quand les bebes font leur dents!
Sounds like a delicious meal and such a great way to use up leftover meat. Whenever I see something like a shepherds pie, I always remind myself to do that the next time I have leftovers and of course, I always forget. Thanks for another reminder!
Oh what sweetness. Our 10-month-old son has also taken a nibble out of Sophie now and again, she doesn’t seem to mind, thank goodness. What a gorgeous little girl you have.
Un bon plat bien de chez nous et on adore à la maison…Elle grandit la petite puce…
ooooh … je dois dire que je préférais le look du blog d’avant, il était plus personalisé … et surtout très “léger” et rafraichissant
maintenant l’outfit du blog ne se détache pas/plus de beaucoup d’autres blogs …
quant au recettes et aux photos … M-A-G-N-I-F-I-Q-U-E … vraiment
et Loulou … à mordiller !
… moi, à nouveau
je parle du banner, bien sûr
Please tell me where you found these small glass baking cups/dishes! They make such a lovely presentation.
Also, I’ve listed you at my blog. I hope you don’t mind. You do such beautiful things.
Sou uma brasileira apaixonada por cozinha. Amo suas receitas e o visual dos pratos.
Desculpe não sei inglês e tento entender o francês.
HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY BEA. MY DAUGHTER WILL BE 40 THIS JULY. SHE IS COMING TO ENGLAND WITH HER FAMILY TO CELEBRATE. I HOPE YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO COOK YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY DINNER!
Elle est si belle!!!!!
compliments pour les belles photos!!
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Your blog is gorgeous, i can’t wait for your cookbook. You combine a great love of the simplicity and perfection of french cooking with photography that perfectly matches. as spring approaches i yearn for french comfort foods on spring shower days when i am stuck inside with nothing to do but indulge in my favorite things — like french cooking. boeuf aux carottes is near the top. braising carrots until they release their delicate sweetness. yum. the whole is so much more than the sum of the parts. i never view hachis parmentier, stuffed vegetables, etc. as leftovers — it takes a few days cooking to make a perfect dish.
Wow this is the first time I heard of Hachis Parmentier. Thank you very much for sharing, this looks delish and totally organic. It reminded me of some of the stuff I saw on this show called Extreme Chef http://www.facebook.com/pages/Extreme-Chef/195324160502642
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A Bretagne friend of mine told me this was one of his favorite dishes growing up and I had to try it. My two little boys loved it (as did I) and I am hoping this will now become a childhood favorite of theirs as well. Thank you for the great recipe. 🙂
Wonderful post. J’en ai l’eau a la bouche!
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The French like their casseroles just like we do. Easy & good.
Thanks for the introduction to Hachis parmentier. It sounds like a dish I would love…and a natural with Merlot!
This looks so pretty Mardi! This was fun to make. I am happy that I joined this talented group:) YAY FFwD!
Love your post!
Now is too long for your story but the recipe I could follow! Thank you much!
This dish looks perfect to me! This looks delicious! Comfort food is the best!!