This recipe originates from the birthplace of St Eligius, Noyon, in Picardy. In his time, there were no potatoes in Europe, so this recipe was made with a bread dough base, but to make it lighter, puff pastry can be used.
It is a tasty autumn (or even winter) dish that can be kept in the fridge for several days and reheated.
Ingredients (serves 6):
6 potatoes (or a packet of ready-made puff pastry)
500g of Maroilles cow's cheese (this is a French cheese with a semi-soft texture and a washed rind: it can be replaced by a lightly matured tomino).
75cl dark beer
3 onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic
1 smoked sausage cut into thin slices
1 knob of butter
Freshly ground black pepper
If using potatoes, cook them in plenty of salted water with their skins on. (Note: potatoes are always cooked by putting them in cold water and then turning on the heat, which must be medium).
Brown the onions in a frying pan. When the onions are well coloured, pour half the beer over them. Simmer for a few moments.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Cut the cheese into strips. Butter an earthenware or fireproof glass baking tin.
Peel the potatoes, cut them into strips and place them in the tin as a base; if you are using puff pastry, spread it out in the tin and prick it with a fork to prevent it from puffing up.
Arrange the onions, cheese and sausage in alternating layers on top of the potatoes (or puff pastry). Pour the rest of the beer into the tin and place the fresh garlic under the top layer of cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes and halfway through, reduce the oven temperature to 180°.
Serve hot. Accompany the dish with a good glass of beer.