French cooking France

The best recipe for shepherd's pie (hachis parmentier)

It's THE family dish par excellence: shepherd's pie (hâchis parmentier in french). A good purée and minced meat, plus a few extra ingredients, make it a delight to enjoy with friends and family. The shepherd's pie can also be made with duck or chicken, and allows you to recycle leftovers into a really tasty dish. Discover Monsieur de France's recipe.


Parmentier hash recipe




  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 little oil (olive or other).
  • 10 cl single cream
  • 350 grams of minced beef (or chicken, or duck).
  • 1 kg potatoes (preferably binje, manon, vitelotte or monalisa)
  • Salt and pepper (ground is best).


En option :

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 100 g grated cheese (or breadcrumbs).




The process


First make the purée:


  1. Peel your potatoes
  2. Cook them in plenty of salted water, reserving the cooking water.
  3. Mash your potatoes, either with a fork or a potato masher.
  4. If you want the purée to be very smooth, add a little cooking water.
  5. Add the cream and stir.


Then make the garnish:


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C while you prepare the meat.
  2. Peel the vegetables: onion, carrot and chop the garlic.
  3. Chop the carrot into small cubes (roughly 5 minutes on each side).
  4. Put them in a frying pan and brown them in a drizzle of oil.
  5. Add the minced beef and press the garlic
  6. Add a little salt
  7. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes (you can add a little thyme if you like).


Assemble the dish


  1. In an ovenproof dish that is not too low to the ground
  2. Put the minced beef and vegetables in a bowl.
  3. Cover with your purée
  4. Season with pepper and a little salt.




You can cover the mince with 100 grams of grated cheese (Gruyère is best) or breadcrumbs.




  1. 25 to 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C gas mark 6
  2. Bake au gratin for 5 minutes under the grill before serving.



Ideal for reusing leftovers


You can make parmentier with leftovers from a stew or even with leftover chicken, which you will shred and arrange in place of the minced beef. You can also make a delicious duck parmentier and replace the grated cheese on top with gingerbread crumbs. It's just delicious!




Who invented the hâchis parmentier?



The legend


Legend has it that this dish was invented by Monsieur Parmentier , who gave it his name. It has to be said that French cuisine, and indeed France itself, owes a great deal to the great agronomist Antoine PARMENTIER (1737-1813). A prisoner in Germany during the 7 Years' War, he discovered the potato there. Convinced that it could feed the French at least as well as wheat, while being less fragile and less subject to the climate, he did everything he could to develop its cultivation and consumption in order to reduce famines. With the support of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette (who wore a "potato hairdo" to promote the new crop), he planted the first seedlings on the Grenelle plain not far from Paris and promoted the vegetable by serving it in his home to celebrities such as Benjamin FRANKLIN. That's where the legend comes from. To make people love potatoes, PARMENTIER is said to have invented the hash to show that they go very well with minced meat, and he gave his name to the dish.


Monsieur PARMENTIER, represented by DUMONT, dressed as an Academician, wearing the Légion d'Honneur and holding some of the flowers he has collected. Image chosen by Château de Versailles.

Monsieur PARMENTIER, represented by DUMONT, dressed as an Academician, wearing the Légion d'Honneur and holding some of the flowers he has collected. Image chosen by Château de Versailles.



The reality


The truth is, we don't know who invented the hâchis parmentier. What is certain is that the first ones appeared in Parisian brasseries in the 19th century. It is said to have been named in homage to Monsieur PARMENTIER and his efforts to change the lives of the French and prevent famine thanks to this potato discovered by the Spanish in America in the 16th century. But what counts, in the end, is the legend. Monsieur PARMENTIER deserves all the credit he can get.

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.