Holiday Party Part 3: Potato Gratin

Alrighty, by now you’ve read all about chicken liver pate and meyer lemon tart, the first and last courses in my holiday menu.  Since a potato dish is requisite at any big family meal, I’ve suggested a potato gratin.  How can anything composed of potatoes, cream, and cheese be bad?  Think of these as fancy scalloped potatoes.  You’ll notice that the amount of potatoes in the recipe is fairly vague.  Sorry!  I didn’t weigh my potatoes when I made the recipe.  You can use the photos as a visual guide to the the cream to potato ratio.  Thankfully, the recipe is forgiving and should work over a wide range (the consistency will just be a bit different).  You can easily scale this recipe up or down depending on the number of guests.

Gratin Dauphinois

adapted from Les Halles Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain


Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 

2 c heavy cream

5 garlic cloves, crushed

1 sprig rosemary

1 sprig thyme

salt and pepper

nutmeg, preferably freshly ground

1 T butter

4 oz. grated Gruyere (or other good Swiss cheese)


1.  Add sliced potatoes, cream, 4 garlic cloves, and herbs into a pot.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.


potatoes-cooking2.  Meanwhile, butter a baking dish large enough to hold the potatoes and cream, cut the remaining garlic clove and rub it inside the dish.

3.  Transfer the potato/cream mixture to the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with the grated cheese.  Bake in a 350 C oven for about 40 minutes, until the cheese is browned.


Yum!  During the time in the oven, the cream and starch from the potatoes (along with evaporation I assume) thicken the mixture into a mass of creamy goodness.  The flavors of the herbs and nutmeg really come through to highlight the potatoes and cheese.  I’ve never tried it, but I suspect that you could separate the boiling and baking steps by a few hours if necessary.  If you are making my whole holiday menu, you can work on this while the roast is in the oven, and then bake this while the roast is finishing.  I have made this for several groups of people and haven’t had to take leftovers home yet.  Enjoy!

Next up: Standing rib roast



Filed under Vegetables and Sides

3 responses to “Holiday Party Part 3: Potato Gratin

  1. This looks great. Tragically, we used to have potatoes au gratin from a box when I was growing up and I always thought I hated them. Non-dehydrated potatoes with real cream is something I can get behind.

  2. travking

    We ate the same scalloped potatoes when I was growing up. I distinctly remember their slightly orange hue. My mother finally broke down and made this potato gratin recipe last Easter – everyone loved it.

  3. Pingback: Holiday Party Part 4: Standing Rib Roast « Chez Travie

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