How to Make Pommes de Terre Gratinées (aka Potatoes With Cheese)! by Chef Gigi Gaggero
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.
- 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:
- 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. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 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.
- In a small sauce pan cook the pancetta until crispy, about 3-5 minutes. Drain on a paper towel. Set aside.
- 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 salt 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.
- 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.
- 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. Makes approximately 4-6 servings.