Hachis parmentier, for those who may not be familiar, is the ultimate comfort food. Super convenient and satisfying, this is the French equivalent of shepherd's pie. Hachis comes from the verb hacher, meaning to chop or mince. Parmentier is a nod to Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, a famous French scientist who was renowned for researching potatoes and promoting them as the ideal crop to feed the poor. Traditionally speaking, hachis parmentier is made with a base of seasoned beef or a beef stew (leftovers welcome!) topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. The mixture is baked in an oven until golden and a bit crusty. Warm, hearty, simple, perfect for even the most fussy of eaters!
It's funny because it seems that hachis parmentier has become the ultimate convenience food in France, much like shepherd's pie, meatloaf or lasagna in the States or the UK. A variety of uninspiring-looking readymade versions can be found in French supermarkets, ready to pop into the microwave or the oven.