Sunday night dinner at home. A delicious and deeply satisfying slow baked potato gratin served with a side salad. A firm family favourite. Lush and creamy on the inside with a burnished golden crust. Best of all, after just a little assembly it looks after itself. All that is required is a deep dish, slow oven and plenty of time.
I often also make this as an accompaniment to a more substantial roast. Especially when we are expecting a crowd. It’s a simple, make ahead dish which can be reheated at a moment’s notice. Easily transportable it’s also perfect for those large, informal gatherings when I’m asked to bring a plate. This no-nonsense version is from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. Straight-forward and well-loved it works like a dream every single time.
Slow Baked Potato Gratin
Adapted from The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander
There are many versions of potato gratin. The essentials are to have a deep gratin dish and plenty of time. Potato gratins need to cook for a long time to become deliciously creamy inside with a deep golden crust on top. This is a simple version, the flour prevents the curdled cheesy appearance of some gratins.
8 medium waxy potatoes*, peeled
40g butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon plain flour
200ml pouring cream
400ml boiling milk
PREHEAT oven to 200C.
SLICE potatoes thinly, but not paper thin. I like to use a Japanese mandolin but a sharp knife will suffice.
USE half the melted butter to grease a gratin dish or a ceramic baking dish, minimum 6 cup capacity.
ARRANGE potato in overlapping layers in the buttered dish, adding a little garlic from time to time. Season as you go with salt and pepper and a grating of nutmeg.
MIX flour into cream and combine with hot milk and remaining melted butter.
POUR evenly and carefully over gratin so that the potato is not disturbed. Use a sieve to remove any lumps of flour.
BAKE for one to one and a half hours until potato is soft and creamy and top is crisp and brown. If the gratin seems to be browning too quickly, place the dish lower in the oven, cover it with foil or both.
*Choose from the following varieties of Australian potatoes: bintje, dutch cream, kipfler, nicola, pink-eye or purple congo.