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Greg's gratin dauphinois
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Gratin dauphinois is a rather pompous title for what the French also call gratin de pommes de terre, or potato gratin. The recipe is simplicity itself: put raw potato slices in an oven-proof dish, cover with milk and cook for about 50 minutes.

That's where the simplicity ends. To get good results, many complications arise. On 6 November 2007 I did some investigation, using recipes from four books:

Interestingly, La cuisine de Madame Saint-Ange didn't include a recipe.

These five books disagree about almost every point:

My recipe

I took a middle line between Bocuse and Bonniers, and left out the cheese, mainly because I don't think it belongs there; that's nothing to do with purism, just the taste I was aiming for. I used much more garlic (2%), because I like it, and I used butter fat instead of butter. I didn't use any nutmeg or egg.

I used 750 g of potatoes, which proved to be barely more than enough for 3 people; more importantly, though, it didn't quite make 4 layers of potato in my oven dish (470 cm²), and the 500 ml of liquid I used was barely enough to cover the potatoes, so next time I'll use the quantities shown in the recipe, which should be enough for 4 people.

Ingredients

quantity       ingredient       step
900 g       potatoes       2
15 g       garlic       3
35 g       butter fat       3, 5
350 ml       milk       4
350 ml       cream       4

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 180°
  2. Peel the potatoes and slice them into 4 mm slices with an electric slicer, which cuts evenly.
  3. Melt some of the butter fat in an oven proof dish with an area of about 500 cm² then Lay a layer of potato slices on the bottom, overlapping slightly. Salt, pepper and add a little pressed garlic. Repeat until all the potato and garlic is used up. The quantities should give four layers.
  4. Mix milk and cream and blend; the cream I get here is lumpy otherwise. Pour over the potatoes, which should be just covered.
  5. Spread butter fat flakes over the surface and bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until the surface is nicely browned.


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