I have just finished eating a bowl of this tasty garlicky potato dish, layered with milk and cream. It is so moreish I actually had a little more. On its own. There seems to be a good deal of debate about what a gratin actually entails, but once again I consulted Stephanie's striped tome and Delia agrees with her too. Jamie embellished his with herbs and cheese and bacon, but in the end it is the simplicity of just a few ingredients that makes this so delicious.
Waxy potatoes are vital and must be sought out. There is a list here as a guide for waxy potatoes.
Gratin Dauphinois serves 8 as a side
- 1 kg waxy potatoes, peeled
- 40g butter
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- nutmeg, freshly grated: optional
- 1 tspn plain flour
- 200ml cream
- 400ml boiling milk
Preheat the oven to 200*C (180 FF)
Slice the potatoes thinly, not too thinly, and put them into a bowl of cold water. I put my colander in and then the sliced potatoes so they would be easy to drain. You can see in the picture that the soaking helps draw out the excess starch.
Grease a rectangular dish with 20g of the butter. The one I used has a 2.5 litre capacity. Drain the sliced potatoes and then lay them out on kitchen towel, or new cloths, to dry a little. By the time the last ones are done, the first will be dry enough.
Sprinkle the plain flour over the cream and whisk. Then gradually whisk in the boiling milk. Carefully. Trying not to disturb the layers, gently pour the milk and cream mixture over the potatoes, and then dot with the rest of the butter.
I think this is best eaten straight away, and while I would not mind eating it later on, others may not!! I just ground some pepper on top. Others add some cheese in the layers and on top. Any root vegetable, or combination, could be substituted.