A steakhouse classic, gratin potatoes are what many people consider a perfect side dish. However, if you really want to kick things up a notch then you’ll want to make my recipe for the most decadent gratin dauphinois. These thinly sliced potato layers are cooked in three different creams for a truly satisfying experience.
The main difference between gratin dauphinois and ordinary gratin potatoes is that this recipe uses raw potatoes to start. Don’t worry, they are fully cooked at the end. The reason for starting with raw is because we want them to absorb the delicious creams instead of water.
Making Super Decadent Gratin Dauphinois
To start a potato dish you first have to get some potatoes. Now, various people recommend different potatoes, but I personally don’t think it matters THAT much. The main difference you will get is in the texture, however you can definitely make this recipe with any variety of potato. As I’m trying to make this super decadent I opted to use yellow potatoes which have a very creamy consistency when baked.
Begin with peeling all of your potatoes. My recipe calls for 2kg of potatoes (so 12 small-medium yellow ones). Now some people don’t like peeling yellow potatoes, but I just think it makes everything go a lot easier. After peeling, slice them quite thin, about the thickness of a quarter, and let them sit in cold water. If you can’t do it with a knife feel free to use a mandolin.
Next get our your baking dish of choice and place in the bottom four tablespoons of cold butter. I’m using my Emile Henry deep tart dish which I absolutely love for recipes like this. Use your fingers/knuckles to press the cold butter all over the bottom of the dish, and into the side grooves.
Lay down a layer of sliced potatoes in a spiral ring pattern all the way to the edge. Try to keep them a bit offset so there is openings for the liquid to seep through. If you cut with a knife instead of a mandolin, set the thicker pieces closer to the edge.
The first cream pour we are making is simple. Just add two cups of heavy cream to a cold pan along with two egg yolks. Turn on the heat to medium and whisk in the egg yolks. As the cream heats up then add in seasonings like salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.
In my homemade spice mix I also added a teaspoon and a half of chicken bullion powder, but that is optional. So if you don’t feel like it, leave it out. Whisk everything together and when the cream begins to simmer take it off the heat. Pour the mixture over all the potatoes in the dish.
After pouring the cream all over, give the tray a little shake to help the liquid go all around. Then build another layer of potatoes on top of the first layer in the same method. Again, thicker slices towards the edge.
The second cream layer is a bit easier. Just bring a cup of heavy cream to a simmer and mix in RAW minced garlic (4 cloves) and a large finely chopped shallot. Whisk that in and pour over the second layer of potatoes in the dish.
By now the pressure of the layers and the heat of the creams has melted the butter. You can see in the picture above it is being pressed up the edges of the dish. Next build the third layer. Same method, start in the middle and build a layers spiral out towards the edge.
The final cream layer is the easiest. Just pour over a cup of cold heavy cream, letting it seep through and push against the edges. On top of the cream sprinkle a bit of good sea salt and then cover completely with shredded gruyere or ementaller cheese. Now as any gratin dauphinois purist will tell you, the dish doesn’t contain cheese. However as this is my recipe for the most decadent gratin dauphinois ever, then yes, it does include cheese. Let’s not forget to mention that some of the best French chefs in the world add cheese to their dauphinois so who am I to argue with them.
I put the gratin dauphinois in the oven at 140 Celsius and let bake for 2 hours. You should check every half hour though and test for doneness once you see black spots appearing on the top. If it needs more time feel free to just keep letting it bake in the oven low and slow.
Can You Reheat Gratin Dauphinois
Yes you can absolutely reheat it. In fact, I like to reheat it in the oven the day after (because who can really have more than a few bits of this dish…it’s seriously so rich and decadent. I re-bake the dauphinois at 150 Celsius for 20 mintues. This gives it a more golden-brown top, but the taste is just as good as freshly baked.
Now if I’m entertaining and making this dish for friends, I usually just serve this in the tart dish with a large serving spoon. Let people take however much they want. But, if you want to get a bit fancier you can use a ring mold to cut out a little tower of this super decadent gratin dauphinois and class up the dish.
Super Decadent Gratin Dauphinois
- Baking Dish
- Mandolin (optional, but recommended)
- 2 kg Potatoes peeled and thinly sliced. Let the slices rest in cold water before you assemble.
- 1 Liter Heavy Cream 4 cups.
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 large Shallot finely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp Oregano dry
- 1 tsp Rosemary dry
- 1 tsp Thyme dry
- 1 tsp Black Pepper freshly cracked
- 2 tsp Salt fine sea salt
- 1.5 tsp Chicken Buillion optional
- 125 grams Gruyere Cheese grated. Ementaller is also a fine substitute.
- Begin by pressing the cold butter into your baking dish. Use your fingers or knuckles to get it all smeared in there.
- Lay down your first round of thinly sliced potatoes in a spiral ring starting from the center.
- In a small saucepan heat up two cups of cream mixed with two egg yolks. When it comes to a simmer whisk in the oregano, rosemary, and thyme, along with the salt and pepper. This is when you can add in the chicken buillion if you are using it (I do recommend it).
- Pour the sauce mixture over the bottom layer of potatoes. Build another layer of potatoes in the same method on top.
- In a small saucepan heat up a cup of heavy cream. When it comes to a simmer mix in the shallot and garlic raw. Remove from the heat and pour it over the next layer of potatoes.
- Build the third layer of potatoes in the same method.
- The final cream layer is easiest. Just pour over the last cup of heavy cream, cold. Sprinkle some salt and then cover with the grated cheese.
- Place the baking dish on a baking tray (to catch drips) and place in the oven. Bake at 140 Celsius for 2 hours. Check every half hour to see if any brown spots start appearing on the top. If they appear before an hour and a half lower the heat ten degrees as it is too hot. After an hour and a half test with a thin knife. If the knife goes in and out with zero resistance you can pull out the dish and serve.