Best Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe: How to Make Delicious Pommes de Terre Gratinées (Potatoes With Cheese) by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of KSCU 103.3 FM LIVE Food Talk Radio S.F. Bay Area

Best Au Gratin Potatoes Recipe: How to Make Delicious Pommes de Terre Gratinées (Potatoes With Cheese)

You may have had au gratin potatoes before, but we bet you've never had them as good as these. A gratin is a culinary technique in which a casserole recipe is topped with a browned crust. The gratin originated in French cuisine, and is usually prepared in a shallow cooking vessel. The flavors are rich and delicious.

This delicious Pommes de Terre Gratinées (aka potatoes with cheese) side dish recipe is so delicious, you may be spoiled for "regular" au gratin potatoes forever. It takes some time, but this amazing potato casserole recipe is well worth the effort for an incredible dinner. You just can't rush perfection!

Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 70 to 85 minutes
Total Time: 80 to 95 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 fresh leeks, trimmed, sliced down center lengthwise and washed well
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 - 1/2 pound pancetta, chopped in medium dice or center cut bacon (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream or nut milk
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, cleaned and smashed, root ball intact
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated

Here’s how you make them:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 2-quart gratin dish or a casserole dish by generously rubbing with butter. Place on a lined, high-sided cookie sheet and set aside.
  2.  Slice the potatoes into 1/8-inch disks. Toss with salt and pepper. Layer the rounds, slightly overlapping one another, from left to right or in a circle, bottom to top, in the buttered gratin dish.
  3. In a small saucepan, cook the pancetta until crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Cut the cleaned leeks into 1/4-inch strips. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, a large pinch of salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Add the thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender and golden, 5-7 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and scatter the cooked leeks over the sliced potatoes.
  5. While the leeks are cooking, heat the cream, the stock with the garlic and bay leaf in an additional saucepan. Simmer for about 5 minutes until flavors are infused in the cream. Add nutmeg and white pepper.
  6. Sprinkle half of the pancetta on top of the cooked leeks. Pour the cream over the top. Top with the Gruyère. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40-50 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the reserved crispy pancetta and garnish with chopped parsley.

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