Indulge in the creamy, comforting embrace of Potato Gratin, a classic dish that finds its roots in French cuisine but has warmed tables and hearts worldwide.

This Potato Gratin recipe, tailored for the beginner home cook, balances simplicity with the indulgent flavors that make this dish a timeless favorite.

Potato Gratin Recipe

Skill Level: Beginner Potato Gratin is an excellent recipe for beginners, primarily because it involves simple, repetitive preparation steps and very forgiving cooking conditions. The key lies in the layering and seasoning, ensuring each bite is as savory as the last.

Healthy Highlight: While Potato Gratin is indulgent, known for its richness, it does have nutritious elements. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber, especially when the skin is left on. Choosing low-fat dairy options can also make it a healthier choice.

Potato Gratin Recipe

Time & Servings:

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 1 hour
  • Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes: 2.2 pounds (1 kg)
  • Heavy Cream: 8.5 ounces (250 ml)
  • Milk: 8.5 ounces (250 ml)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Butter: 1 ounce (30 grams)
  • Grated cheese (like Gruyère or Cheddar): 3.5 ounces (100 grams)
  • Salt: to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper: to taste
  • Nutmeg: a pinch

Note: Vegan Option Below

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 355°F (180°C).
  2. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes to about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thickness.
  3. Rub a baking dish with a cut garlic clove, then grease the dish with butter.
  4. Layer half of the potato slices in the dish, overlapping slightly. Season with salt, pepper, and a touch of nutmeg.
  5. Pour half of the cream and milk over the first layer of potatoes.
  6. Add the remaining potatoes, seasoning again with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  7. Pour the remaining cream and milk over the top. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  8. Bake for about 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown.
  9. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Tips for Perfection:

  • Use a mandoline for evenly sliced potatoes.
  • Allow the gratin to set for about 10 minutes after baking for cleaner slicing.
  • The top layer should be mostly submerged in liquid before baking to avoid drying out.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Thyme or rosemary for added aroma.
  • A tablespoon of Dijon mustard in the cream for a tangy twist.

Vegetarian Suggestions:

Ensure the cheese used is vegetarian, as some cheeses contain animal rennet.

Potato Gratin Recipe – Vegan Version

To transform Potato Gratin into a delicious vegan meal, you would just need to substitute a few key ingredients with their plant-based counterparts. Here’s how you can make it vegan:

  1. Potatoes: No change needed, as potatoes are naturally vegan.
  2. Heavy Cream: Use a full-fat canned coconut milk or any rich dairy-free cream alternative designed for cooking. There are also vegan cream substitutes made from soy, cashew, or almonds available in the market.
  3. Milk: Opt for unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or any other plant-based milk you prefer. These will work well for the base of your gratin.
  4. Garlic: No change needed, continue to use fresh garlic for flavoring.
  5. Butter: Use a vegan butter substitute or a mild-flavored oil like avocado or olive oil for greasing the dish.
  6. Grated Cheese: There are many vegan cheeses available, made from nuts like cashews or almonds, soy, or tapioca. Look for a vegan cheese that melts well to get that signature gratin texture.
  7. Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg: No change needed, as these are all vegan-friendly.

When preparing vegan Potato Gratin, keep in mind that plant-based milk and cream alternatives might have different fat content and may behave differently when heated. You may need to adjust quantities or cooking times slightly.

Taste and adjust your seasoning as necessary, since vegan cheeses can have different levels of saltiness than their dairy counterparts.

With these substitutions, you’ll still achieve a creamy, satisfying dish, but it will be entirely plant-based.

Enjoy your vegan Potato Gratin!

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with a light salad or steamed green beans to add freshness and balance to your meal.

Approximate Nutrient Information:

  • 300 calories per serving
  • 15g fat
  • 35g carbohydrates
  • 7g protein

Storage & Reheating:

Refrigerate leftovers within two hours, and they’ll last for up to three days. Reheat in the oven until warm throughout.

Origin & Folklore:

Potato Gratin, or Gratin Dauphinois, is a regional French dish from the Dauphiné area. It’s said to date back to 1788 when it was first made during a dinner for the Duke of Clermont-Tonnerre.

It’s a fact that…

Potato Gratin is a dish that warms the soul with each creamy, cheesy bite, encapsulating the essence of comfort food.

It is a versatile recipe that allows for creativity but never compromises on the decadent experience it promises.

As always, I hope you enjoy this indulgent classic!

Be sure to check out more French-inspired recipes here.