It’s really hard to beat a classic potato gratin! The creamy layers of potatoes and cheese. The crispy, cheesy top. The flavors of garlic and herbs in each bite. Did I mention the gooey cheese? Yum!
Clearly I love gratins and enjoy them with all sorts of vegetables and vegetable combinations – Cauliflower, Potato and Summer Squash, Brussels Sprout, and more to come – so I thought I should have a classic potato gratin on here as well.
Next up, broccoli? Celeriac? Leeks? Parsnips?
I haven’t decided yet! They are all good. All yummy. All a little (or a lot) cheesy and all great ways to use seasonal produce.
Is it any wonder I love them?
Now last week I was all about wishing for summer to come back, making Tomato Soup and Strawberry Syrup (though a gratin did sneak in!), while this week I’ll all about wintery, comforting foods. And it turns out my ‘storm food’ cravings are just in time for our first nor’easter of the year! It looks like we are going to get a chance to try out my daughter’s new sled this weekend, and maybe, after some hot cocoa and getting a fire going, I’ll pull a gratin and a nice slow-cooked roast out of the oven for us to enjoy. It seems like a plan to me. 🙂
Though a potato gratin takes a while to cook (gotta get through all those layers of potatoes), it couldn’t be easier to make.
Especially if you have a mandoline! As I’ve mentioned before, I have a mandoline I quite love – the GSD Mandoline Slicer. It’s so easy to snap in the blades and then you are ready to go. It took me about 3 minutes to slice all the potatoes for the gratin, and that includes letting the dog out while I was in the middle of slicing.
As for peeling, I peeled (it took me 5 minutes for that), but it’s not necessary. The potatoes I bought got a little too much light and had that greenish cast to their skins. Peel that off always! Bad stuff. However, if your potatoes are nice and golden with no green keep those skins. You get more good things in your potatoes and save 5 minutes.
While you are slicing the potatoes and shredding the cheese, bring the milk and garlic to a boil and then take it off the heat to steep. By the time you have finished slicing and shredding and have stacked up everything in the gratin dish, it’ll be ready to pour over. About 10 minutes prep and you’re ready to put it in the oven and forget about it for an hour or so! Not quick, but easy. My kind of wintery meal.
-Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 lbs yellow potatoes
- 6 oz gruyere. shredded
- 1 oz parmesan. grated
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bring milk, garlic, thyme, sage, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it boils, shut off the heat and let it steep while you make the rest of the gratin.
If you prefer peeled potatoes in a gratin, peel them. Then slice your peeled or unpeeled potatoes very thin. I slice mine 2 mm thick on a mandoline. If yours are thicker, you will need to add more cooking time.
To layer the potatoes and cheese in the gratin dish, put down a layer of potatoes, then a layer of cheese, followed by two more layers of each. You will have three layers of potatoes each topped by a layer of cheese. Once that is done, remove the garlic from the steeped milk and pour the milk over the gratin.
Cover the gratin with foil and bake for 1 hr 15 mins. Check the potatoes with a skewer or a fork. They should be tender all the way through. If not, give them another 10 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes more to brown the topping. Let the gratin sit for 15-20 minutes on the counter to let the potatoes absorb the milk and for the gratin to firm up.
I used only whole milk in this gratin since there is a fair amount of it and this recipe is for any day you have a little time to spend in the kitchen. For a special occasion potato gratin where you may want a richer dish, just change out some of the milk for cream, up to 1 cup (making it 1 cup cream and 1 cup milk).
The mandoline I use is the GSD Mandoline Slicer. I find it really easy to use and it has held up very well for me.