Gratin Dauphinoise

Opinions differ about the definitive version of this classic French dish. Escoffier and Paul Bocuse cook it with cheese and eggs, as does Larousse. Elizabeth David leaves them out. Perhaps the character of this dish has changed with time because most chefs today cook this lovely gratin with cream, or cream and milk, and garlic.

Ingredients

  • lb (700 g) floury potatoes, cut wafer thin
  • 3 oz (75 g) butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 15 fl oz (400 ml) double cream

Method

Wash the potato slices in cold water and dry well. Butter a wide gratin dish and layer the potatoes in it with the garlic and seasoning.

Sift the flour into the cream – this will prevent the cream separating – and pour over the potatoes. Cook for 1 hour at gas mark 6/400°F/200°C.

‘The potatoe [sic] … is a very useful root, being either boil’d or roasted in hot embers, and after it is boiled and beaten in a Mortar, it is used to thicken Sauces for making of rich Puddings.’

From The Country Housewife and Lady’s Director by Richard Bradley, 1736.

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