Cook-Along Recipe for Gratin Dauphinois (Potato Gratin to You)

by Anne Maxfield on February 18, 2011

Accidental Locavore Potato GratinPotato gratin to go with rack of lamb for Valentine’s Day, what’s a better combination? So the Accidental Locavore went straight to the source for this week’s cook-along recipe, Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I wanted a recipe for a classic French potato gratin and found it with the Gratin Dauphinois. The only major change I made with it was to omit the cooking on top of the stove as I’m sure the gratin pan I have wasn’t flameproof, so I just cooked it in oven a little longer. The book says for 6 people, maybe my guests were just hungry, it fed 4. Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

  • 2 pounds potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) Swiss cheese, grated (I used a Gruyere from Murray’s Cheese)
  • 1 cup boiling milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8″ thick. Place them in a bowl of cold water, and drain when ready to use.

Rub the baking dish with the cut garlic. Grease the dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Drain the potatoes and dry them with a towel. Spread half of them in the dish. Sprinkle half the salt, pepper,cheese and butter over them. Add the rest of the potatoes, and cover with the rest of the cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Pour the boiling milk over the potatoes.

Julia says to set the baking dish over heat and when simmering move to the upper third of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, the milk is absorbed, and the top is browned. I just popped them in the oven and cooked them until they were browned, about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

My rating: 3 stars. The potatoes were a little overcooked, and there was no sign of the cheese. Next time, I would use more cheese, and maybe substitute cream for the milk. A little fresh thyme and/or nutmeg might help. It may have been the potatoes I used, but the dish was kind of watery. However, potatoes with cheese, milk and butter, how bad can it be? I’ll definitely keep rubbing the cut garlic on the baking dish.

Frank’s rating: 5 stars

Robin’s rating: 4.5 stars…”the potatoes were PERFECT, and seasoned perfectly to let the flavor of the potato shine…the only reason it’s not higher for me is because I would have probably put a little more cheese in it, but I love cheese!”

Schecky’s rating: 4 stars,” and say it was simple and delicious – a perfect compliment for the rest of the meal.”

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