We're taking a slight break from the potatoes cooked in milk and cream theme, but to call this dish "slight" would be doing it incredible disservice. We found the recipe in Richard Olney's Simple French Food, and we are very glad we did. The beer gets all winy and sort of sweet as it cooks. The end result is remarkable.
1 large onion, sliced into thin rounds
1-1/2 Pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 (12-ounce) bottle lager beer
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Arrange a few onion rings in the bottom of the dish, and then alternate layers of potatoes and onion, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go and ending with potatoes. Pour the beer over the top and dot the surface with the butter.
Put the dish into the oven. After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 375 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender and the surface has begun to brown. Pour the cream over the surface and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. It's best served warm, not hot.
NOTE: We've found that late-season (March through June) storage potatoes are often not thirsty enough for this dish. If the gratin is still very liquid after 40 minutes of baking, spoon out most of the beer before adding the cream.
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300 Recipes from Simple to Elegant—Appetizers,
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by Roy Finamore with Molly Stevens
Houghton Mifflin Books
Publication date: October, 2001
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created January 2002
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