This wonderful potato gratin reminds me of my childhood. My family was neither large nor rich, but we were happy and close. We often met for family meals and I was delighted with these moments. My Grandpa was always in the kitchen preparing good slow food. He cooked well rabbit, pineapple cake, tomato spaghetti and pastries. He deceased 14 years ago, but I hope he’s proud of me, from the heaven. I remember everything. And his cooking too. I’m sure it would make him happy!
And what I particularly remember is his potato gratin.
It’s difficult to rediscover the flavours of an old recipe of our childhood, but I believe I’ve succeeded. And I know there are three important elements to respect: Gruyère, cooking potatoes before in a saucepan and a slow cooking in the oven with a low temperature.
The Gruyère is a cheese from Switzerland. I hope you’ll find were you live. It’s a salted and hard cheese. Delicious. You can take a similar cheese as well.
You can prepare the gratin in advance. In this case, don‘t put the cheese immediately and cover the dish with aluminium paper ... Sprinkle with cheese before baking.
Don’t hesitate to try it, it's my weakness! It‘s generous and cheering...
For a large baking dish (8 people at least)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes for potatoes and one hour in the oven
- 2,5 kgs of firm potatoes (that support cooking)
- 50g butter
- between 7,5 dl and 1 liter cream (35% fat level)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 250g of grated cheese (Gruyère)
- pepper, nutmeg, salt
- 100g Parmesan cheese
- 1 garlic clove and 10g butter to rub the baking dish
1) Peel the potatoes, wash them under water and cut them into slivers but not too thick (with a mandolin for example). Please don’t wash them after cutting to preserve the starch. Preheat the oven to 150-160°C.
2) Melt the butter in a large pan and add the potatoes. Press the garlic ant add. Add the cream, so that it reaches just below potatoes. Season with pepper and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.
3) Boil then reduce heat to a medium heat. Turn the mixture constantly, otherwise it will attach to the bottom of the pan! After about 20 minutes, check for potatoes cooking. They should be almost cooked and start to unravel a bit. Starch makes the mixture thicker. Add about 100g Gruyère and mix.
4) Taste (that’s important) and add salt if it’s necessary.
5) Pour the mixture into a gratin dish that you have buttered and rubbed with a clove of garlic. Sprinkle with Gruyère and Parmesan. Bake for about 1 hour. Check for cooking: stick a little knife in the potatoes that should not have any resistance.
7) Get out the oven, cover with aluminium and let stand the gratin 5 to 10 minutes. It is very important. In this way the cream can solidify a little bit and won‘t be liquid when you will cut the gratin.
Accompaniments: I love it even without accompaniment :-) But with a sausage, ham and beans.... A wonder!