gratin dauphinois

a creamy bowl of passion

Gratin Dauphinois is one of the most delicious of French recipes and yet it is so very simple in terms of the ingredients and the making of this gorgeous dish.

It is basically a dish made with the humble potato and with the addition of cream and garlic it is turned into a truly magnificent French dish that can be served as a side dish or just on its own when the mood takes you.

NOTE: If you include cheese with this dish then strictly speaking that would be Gratin Savoyard.

Use comté cheese or gruyère, they are delicious and look lovely when cooked.

However, if you have never tasted this dish – beware, it is addictive! It is one of our favourite of French dishes and yet it is so simple and very inexpensive to make.

Potatoes are one of our little friends in the kitchen - they are inexpensive - even more so it you are able to grow your own and yet they make the most wonderful dishes from frites (chips to most of us) to roast potatoes, sauté potatoes, potato nests and in this instance, the beautiful gratin dauphinois.


These quantities serve 4:

2 kg waxy potatoes such as Desirée or Maris Piper.

1 litre of cream

Salt and pepper

Grated nutmeg

3 cloves of garlic


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C

2. Grease a large gratin dish with butter

3. Chop the garlic cloves into small pieces

4. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly – a mandolin is excellent for this purpose [see picture of thinly sliced potatoes with the French mandolin] – but always ensure you use the guard. Once cut, rinse in cold water to remove some of the starch, and then pat dry between kitchen towels.

5. Sprinkle the garlic pieces over the bottom of the dish.

6. Layer the potatoes over the dish and sprinkle each layer with salt and pepper.

7. Continue layering them until you have used all the potato slices.

8. Sprinkle with grated  nutmeg.

9. Pour over the cream.

10. Place your gratin dish in the oven and bake for about an hour uncovered until it is golden brown and crispy on the top.

Wait for the most wonderful aroma during the last half hour or so coming from your kitchen!

Serve with your chosen meat such as ham or sausage, or with a green salad. Its good on its own too when you feel in the need of comfort eating – especially with a glass of wine and some crusty French bread.

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