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Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin

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Serves 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several recipes.

Potatoes au Gratin is a simple preparation of sliced potatoes and onions baked until tender and browned on top. Gratin is a French word that means browned on top. There is plenty of room for variation. Feel free to garnish with cheese or season with your favorite herbs and spices. These potatoes make a simple side dish for your holiday or Sunday roast.


2½ pounds (1.1kg) potatoes — Yukon gold, Desirée, Romano, Russet, Maris Piper, King Edward
1 large or 2 medium onions
½ cup (120ml) stock — chicken, beef, or both
½ cup (120ml) milk
2 ounces (4 tablespoons/57g) whole butter
Salt and pepper
Thyme, rosemary, or other herbs as desired (optional)


Heat the oven to 350°F (~175°C) with a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Peel potatoes and slice very thinly (1/8 inch, 3mm) with a very sharp knife or mandoline. No need to rinse. Peel and slice the onions thinly. The sliced potatoes can be placed in cold water to prevent browning.

Arrange the potatoes and onions in alternating layers in a shallow baking dish.

Heat the stock(s) and milk to a simmer. If any skin develops on the top, skim it off with a spoon or spider. Pour the hot liquid over the potatoes and onions. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Melt the butter and brush the top all over with melted butter. Drizzle the remaining butter over the dish. Optional: Either season the top with a little thyme and/or rosemary, or put the herbs in the stock/milk mixture when heating (to infuse the liquid with flavor).

Bake uncovered for about 1 hour, checking the top periodically during the latter half of the cooking time. If the top appears to be browning too quickly, cover with foil. Check for tenderness with a fork or skewer. The potatoes should be tender and the top should be lightly brown.

Remove from the oven and let rest 10 to 20 minutes, then serve hot.