Potato gratin

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Serves 6 as a side The se­cret to mak­ing potato gratin is to cut the pota­toes very thinly and evenly us­ing the slicer at­tach­ment of a food pro­ces­sor or a man­dolin. The gratin should be cooked un­til catch­ing and caramelised at the edges, so judge readi­ness by how it looks, not by cook­ing time. And choose a bak­ing dish in which the potato mix­ture sits about 5–6cm deep be­fore cook­ing. Al­though, the­o­ret­i­cally, you could make this dish with any va­ri­ety of firm waxy potato, de­sirees are the best. This recipe is one I copied, un­cred­ited, into my hand­writ­ten cook­book 15 to 20 years ago (judg­ing from the recipes sur­round­ing it). To the now for­got­ten author, my apolo­gies, and thank you — this recipe is one I go back to again and again.

1kg de­siree pota­toes, peeled, very thinly sliced (no more than 2mm thick) 2 cups full-cream milk ½ cup pure cream 100g gruyere, grated Pre­heat oven to 175°C. Grease a deep, 10-cup ca­pac­ity bak­ing dish. Place potato, milk and cream in a large bowl. Us­ing your hands, gen­tly mix un­til well com­bined. Sea­son gen­er­ously with sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per. Layer potato slices and half of gruyere in pre­pared bak­ing dish. Pour over re­main­ing milk mix­ture. Top potato mix­ture with re­main­ing gruyere. Bake for 50 min­utes or un­til potato is ten­der, and cheese is golden and bub­bling.

“It seems that ev­ery year we grow more pota­toes, but never are there enough.”

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