Potato Gratin

My favorite dish at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner was this Potato Gratin recipe, courtesy of Frank Stitt’s Southern Table. Stitt’s cookbook has been very reliable, it is also such a beautiful book that I enjoy flipping through it whenever I can. It took some convincing for Bryan to agree to a Thanksgiving dinner with no mashed potatoes, he’s a traditionalist, but after he tasted these he was glad he agreed.

Just look at that brown and crunchy and delicious cheese topping! Since this is so easy to make, maybe it will become a good substitute for my macaroni and cheese cravings.

Old-Fashioned Potato Gratin

  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/8-1/4-inch thick
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Comté cheese (or substitute Gruyère)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Put the potato slices in a bowl of water to cover so they don’t discolor while you prepare the dish. Firmly rub the garlic clove all over the bottom and sides of a 10-inch gratin dish to coat the interior with its juices. Allow to dry for a few minutes, and then rub the bottom with butter.

Arrange a layer of potatoes, drained and patted dry, in a slightly overlapping fashion, like a splayed deck of cards, in the bottom of the gratin dish. Season with a good dash of salt and white pepper and a little of each of the two cheeses. Continue layering the potatoes and cheese in this fashion, seasoning each layer and finishing with the cheese (you should have at least three layers). Drizzle the cream along the sides of the dish, so as not to displace the cheese.

Place the gratin, uncovered, on the top oven rack and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the cream has been absorbed and the top is crispy and golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

***If you have a mandoline, it makes the potato slicing very easy. This dish is also easily altered, if the cream is too much for you you could use chicken broth instead. Or even milk. You could play with different types of cheese or add fresh herbs. Good luck!

7 comments to “Potato Gratin”

  1. Rubbing the dish with garlic is a unique technique. The photo makes me stick a fork to my computer screen.

  2. I may have just seen potato perfection. Just lovely!

  3. OK. #1: I just found your site today, through StumbleUpon sending me to the apple jellies (to try!!). I am a fan.

    #2: Yeah, Chicago food bloggers! :)

  4. Hello! I came across your blog yesterday (I don’t remember from where?), and am just getting the chance to go through your older posts. I am wondering… It looks like you did *not* peel the potatoes in this dish. My preference would be to keep the skin on, but I’m wondering if you tried that and are recommending that the potatoes be peeled?

    Many thanks! (For your reply *and* for this blog!)

  5. Hey Erin! The recipe calls for the potatoes to be peeled. I did not peel and liked it that way, I think it is both pretty and tasty with the potato skin on. Either way will work.

  6. Thanks so much!

  7. Hi sir! I’m trying out cooking/baking so I’m pretty new at this. I have a silicone baking dish and I was wondering how deep it should be, or should I not worry about that anymore as there’s probably a standard depth?
    I can’t wait to get started!

What do you think?