As you all know, we primarily deal with meat. However, one cannot live on meat alone! We need something to so on the side of the meat, after all. And this recipe for Gratin Dauphinois, abridged from my book “Cooking Meat”, is one of the best potato side dishes you’ll ever have. Save this one for the holidays: you will not be disappointed.
Serves 10 to 12
2 Tbsp butter
3 Spanish onions, thinly sliced in half moons
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy (35%) cream
1 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper
10 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
3 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- Melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the onions, cover, and cook gently until translucent. Add the garlic, cover, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are a deep golden brown and all the water they have released has evaporated, 2 or more hours. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13- × 18-inch baking pan or casserole dish with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cream and eggs. Season the mixture with the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
- Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes about ¼-inch thick. You can do this by hand but it’s much trickier and your results may be uneven. Add the sliced potatoes to the cream mixture.
- Using a spoon, arrange a quarter of the potato slices in a thin layer over the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle with a handful of cheese, spoon one-third of the caramelized onions over the cheese, and pour one-third of the cream mixture over the onions. Repeat this layering, finishing with a layer of potatoes and a sprinkling of cheese.
- Cover the gratin first with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Place on the middle rack in the oven and bake until a paring knife easily pierces the center of the potatoes, about 2 hours. Remove the foil and plastic wrap and continue baking until the top of the gratin is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Give the gratin a few minutes to stop bubbling and set before serving hot.