The potato gratin, potato or the dauphinoise is a French dish, home-based made of potatoes and cream. This dish is known in North America as “au gratin style potatoes” (U.S. and Canadian English) or “potatoes au gratin” (French Canada).
This traditional dish does not have a unique recipe. For example, if you use cheese (emmental, gruyere, etc.) while the original recipe does not contain any, it is transformed into Savoyard gratin.
The choice of potatoes is important. The Charlottes give a slightly sweet taste and soft. The Monalisas are also very good for the upper crust. It is important that the potatoes are yellow and not too firm. They are washed, peeled, and sliced (cooked in the oven only) but never wash the slices (the starch they contain is the connection with the cream or milk). Garlic has also great importance and gives flavor to the dish. Some recipes suggest not to use milk, only liquid cream, others a mixture of equal parts of cream and milk or a mixture of cream and milk. However, the choice of the proportions used depended on the degree of family affluence (more cream if we could afford it). Fondant potatoes mark the slow cooking in the oven, and the absorption of the cream by the potatoes. A variant is replacing the milk / cream with bouillon (chicken preferred) and adding bay leaves.
The gratin was officially mentioned for the first time July 12, 1788, during a dinner for municipal officers from the town of Gap by Charles-Henri, Duc de Clermont-Tonnerre, then Lieutenant General of Dauphiné The dish was cooked with ortolans (little birds).
The history of potato gratin, which was preparing on the Sunday, women put the dish to cook at low temperature and went to Church, it took all this time to cook, and returning home, their families were ready for Sunday, with a dish warm with a creamy sauce flavored with garlic hints. Garlic has a great importance and gives flavor to the dish.
– 1 kg of potatoes (500 g) Belle de Fontenay, or any floury variety
– 65 cl of cream from raw milk (or 325 ml thick cream)
– 3 small garlic cloves, or more if you like
– 10 gr of salt (salt to taste)
– 3 grinds of white pepper (white pepper to taste)
– Pinch of nutmeg
1. Peel and wash the potatoes.
2. Finely chop the garlic.
3.Cut the potatoes in slices 2/3 mm (knife or mandolin).
4. Preheat oven to 100 ° C (a little more than 3 of your oven thermostat)
5. in a stainless steel dish (or individual ramekins), pour the cream in the bottom (before coating the bottom with cream, rub the ramekins with garlic for extra zing).
6. Arrange a layer of potatoes, salt each layer of potatoes, adding a little garlic and white pepper and nutmeg.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until all the ingredients are used (the last layer is a layer of cream).
8. bake at 100 ° C (215 F) for 4 hours (watching that is does not burn) (the cooking at low temperatures is sensitive to different ovens. Begin to monitor cooking from 2 hours spent in).
Tips: mandoline, unlike electric robot, does not “dry out” the slices from the starch which is on the surface and therefore it preserves the taste.
The baking time and temperature are critical for texture and exceptional melting taste of the gratin.