Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Recipe: Creamy Potato Gratin

During these cold autumnal evenings you just want to pop something quick, warm and  really comforting into the oven. For me, it's an indulgent creamy, cheddar cheese potato gratin; the warmth from the oven coupled with the comforting aroma will quickly fill the house. Multiple layers of floury potatoes gently coated in fresh organic cream and topped with a dark golden brown layer of cheddar cheese. It's the perfect partner to a nice leg of lamb, delicious just on its own or as a side dish with a succulent steak.


Potato gratin is a very straight forward dish but a really memorable potato gratin is made using the very best ingredients. When baking mine, I always use Glenisk organic cream in this recipe and good quality Irish roaster potatoes. The resulting dish is a warm, creamy, smooth and delicious dish full of flavour. If you want to make life easier slice the potatoes using a mandolin slicer instead of a knife which will leave you with perfectly even cut slices and an all over even bake. The following is a basic recipe which can be benefited from the addition of bacon, smoked salmon, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme - really the list is endless. Cheddar cheese in this recipe can be replaced with Gruyère, Stilton, Cashel Blue Cheese and many more.


Ingredients:

- 900g Rooster Potatoes (roughly 6 medium sized potatoes).
- 1 Garlic Clove.
- 600ml Glenisk Organic Cream.
- 225g Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
- Sea Salt, Black Pepper & Fresh Nutmeg.


Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180c / Gas Mark 4. Grease a potato gratin dish lightly with butter and smear the dish with a clove of garlic all over. Peel and slice the potatoes 3mm thick before setting aside. Pour the cream into a heavy bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat and bring it to the shivery stage. Grate a few scrapings of nutmeg into the milk mixture.

2. Place a quarter of the potatoes into the pie dish; season with sea salt, black pepper. Pour a quarter of the cream over the potatoes, topping with a quarter of the cheese. Continue this while building up two more layers of potato, seasoning each layer as you go and topping with cheese.

3. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven and bake for an hour. Check that the potatoes are cooked by inserting a skewer or sharp knife into the potatoes ensuring that they are tender.

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Photography: Joleen Cronin
Food Stylng: Dermot O' Sullivan