Cantal cheese, a pungent, aged cows' milk cheese from the Auvergne region of France, gives this dish its hearty, rustic character.
- 1 lb. unsalted butter
- 2 1⁄4 lb. all-purpose potatoes, such as yukon gold, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped and smashed to a paste with the side of a chef's knife
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. bacon fat
- 1 1⁄4 lb. cantal cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-low heat. Add potatoes, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up potatoes with a wooden spoon until they are very soft, about 1 hour.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add garlic paste, milk, and bacon fat and stir to combine. Sprinkle in grated cheese in small amounts and stir until cheese is melted before adding more. Season potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Whip potatoes with a wooden spoon until they become very smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve hot.