My son goes cuckoo for potatoes. Any kind, it doesn’t matter. But potatoes gratin, or even just a little individual au gratin, just for him, will send him over the moon. And he’s almost 15, so anything that I can do that makes my son love me just a bit longer, automatically becomes one of my favorites. Plus, it’s just so easy to make.
Most times I prepare this dish, I give myself plenty of time, maybe an hour and half, and bake this au gratin potato recipe at 350 degrees. But I have also found that I can shave off about 15 or 20 minutes if I need to and cook everything at 400, which comes in pretty handy if and when I am cooking something else in the oven at the same time.
This is another recipe that I have adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, but it is still pretty close to the original au gratin potato recipe that I first tried years ago. I have quit measuring anything out, and just grab however many potatoes I feel that I need, and go from there. I believe in one recipe that I read, heavy cream was used, which is delicious, but doesn’t heat up well the next day. Half and half, which is what I use now and have for the past few years, gives you left overs that don’t suffer at all from a few days in the fridge. So there is nothing wrong with making too much, hoping for a few extra servings that you might be able to sneak in over the next few days. Or in my son’s case, grab for breakfast at the first opportunity.
One last thought on these potatoes gratin… you can get half way through this recipe and take a break, and then finish up later, which makes it a great dish for dinner parties. Go ahead and prepare the potatoes, and get them heated on the stovetop. But once you pour them into the baking or serving dish, you can cover the gratin, and stick it in the fridge for a few hours, or a day, and then pull it out, cheese it up and bake it, and no one will know and difference!
Au Gratin Potato Recipe Ingredients
3 or 5 baking potatoes – depends upon how deep you like your gratin and your desired potato to crust ratio
1 quart half and half
approx 5 oz of cheese, shredded – I normally use store bought combo Parmesan, Asiago and Fontina
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 or 400 degrees, depending upon your preference or time frame
- Wash and peel the potatoes
- Cut potatoes into 1/8″ thick slices and place into medium to large pot
- Cover potatoes with half and half
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and any other seasonings you may desire
- Bring to a heavy simmer or light boil on the stove, stirring every few minutes
- Pour contents of pot into a 9×13 Pyrex dish, or an oven proof serving dish
- Sprinkle shredded cheese evenly on top of potatoes
- Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes, until top is golden brown and bubbly