Potatoes Dauphinoise or gratin dauphinois is a French dish of sliced potatoes baked in milk or cream, using the gratin technique.
It originates from the Dauphiné region in south-eastern France, situated between the Alps and the Rhone valley.
English speaking countries like the USA or here in the UK assume that anything gratin means baked with a layer of cheese on top. In France there is NO cheese in gratin dauphinois. The addition of cheese or eggs would relegate the dish to food for peasants. I must be a peasant, I like cheese.
Additionally, a traditional French gratin dauphinois contains no garlic but does require the baking dish to be rubbed with a clove of garlic to give a subtle hint to the flavouring.
This recipe does have a cheese topping, but at the risk of offending the French, I will take my chances.
According to BBC good food, you can take your potatoes dauphinoise to the next level. All you have to do is the following:
- Use the right potato type
- Choose potatoes of the same size
- Slice uniformly, using a mandolin if possible
- Don’t rinse the potato, the starch helps thicken the sauce
- Infuse flavours into the cream
- Mild garlic flavour, rub the dish and discard
- Pack the potato slices on their side
- Double the cream, use cream and crème fraîche
- Nutmeg, a grating adds a touch of sweet spice
- Butter-basting, brush edges with butter for extra crispness
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Recipe – Potatoes Dauphinoise
- 500 ml Double cream
- 500 ml Milk full fat
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 8 Potatoes large Maris Piper or Desirée
- 100 g Cheese grated gruyère or cheddar
- Pre-heat oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5.
- Tip the double cream, milk and garlic cloves into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Slice the large potatoes very finely, about 3-4mm, add them to the cream and simmer for 5 mins or until just cooked.
- Gently stir to separate the potato and stop it sinking and catching on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and place in a wide shallow ovenproof dish. Season with salt and pepper between each layer until they are about 5cm in depth.
- Pour over the garlic-infused cream (discarding the garlic) – just enough to seep through the layers and leave a little moisture on the surface.
- Scatter over the grated cheese, then bake for 30 mins until the potatoes are soft and browned – increasing the heat for the last 10 mins to brown the crust.