If you have ever made a potato gratin at home and it tasted good but you ended up with a watery sauce you are going to want to read and discover how you can make the BEST ever gratin at home. I have finally had a light bulb moment, did some research, and made the best gratin I have ever made in my kitchen yesterday and am over the moon excited to share this with you all.
It's quite possible that my niece's husband who was a chef had given me this secret to making the perfect steakhouse quality potato gratin but somehow my mind did not grasp it. Over the weekend we had a birthday celebration for my sister at a well known steak house chain, Ruth Chris and I ordered their potato gratin. It was really good but it still did not match up to Jared's Christmas Potato dish he makes for the holiday. Since then all I could think of was making a potato gratin at home. Each time I've made one the potatoes seeped their water (as vegetables have lots of it) and I kept thinking that maybe I should par-boil the potatoes for a bit. To be sure I was on the right track I took to the internet to find out just how you do this.
My first instinct was to get a method from Anne Burrell of the Food Network and when that did not yield what I was looking for I had a light bulb moment. Tom Colicchio of Top Chef owns Craft Steak and in one of the seasons contestant Antonia made a potato gratin to go along with the steak she chose for that particular challenge. Then my research switched to Tom and I found his method he uses for a potato gratin in a recipe he submitted to Food and Wine Magazine. Just reading the recipe I knew I would be on the right track so off to the store I went to procure potatoes and some heavy cream.
The key to the success is simmering the potatoes in heavy cream and then reducing the cream. What happens is the potatoes loose their water while simmering in the cream then when you boil and reduce it, the water evaporates. What you end up with is the most delicious steakhouse style potato gratin and it's just incredible. The potatoes are cooked to perfection and you have a dreamy sauce that continues to thicken a little as it cooks but still maintains a creamy texture.
Please note the size I used was an 8 x 8 square baking dish and the recipe is enough for four portions, more if you have little ones. I also want you to know that my husband so loved this, that he ate two very large portions. That being said there is not much left! You can double this recipe and make it in a larger baking dish. Mine was about two layers and really just enough (or so I thought) for the two of us!
- 2 large russet potatoes (1.29#)
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese - split
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- cooking spray
The potatoes simmer in the cream to perfection!
- I used the 1/4 inch blade of my food processor to cut the potatoes after I peeled them. If you don't own a food processor, scrub the potatoes clean, peel them and cut them in 1/4" slices.
- Add the sliced potatoes to the heavy cream along with a good pinch of salt and black pepper. I used probably 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Bring the cream up to a simmer over medium heat and just when it has tiny bubbles around the edges turn the heat down and simmer the potatoes for about 15 minutes.
- Have your casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray (helps with clean up) and a large slotted spoon at the ready.
- When the potatoes have simmered for the 15 minutes, turn the heat off and using a slotted spoon remove the potatoes to your casserole dish trying not to take too much cream with you. Smooth the potatoes out into a layer. Salt and pepper that layer to taste.
- Add in a second layer of the potatoes and repeat with salt and pepper.
- Turn your attention back to the cream. Add in the 3/4 cup of shredded cheese and bring the cream up to a boil over medium high heat and keep stirring the whole time. What you want to do is reduce the cream. Boil for about 5-7 minutes stirring constantly.
- Pour the cream over the potatoes and add some shredded cheese on top. Cover the dish with foil. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
This was my portion which was the perfect amount for me, although I would have loved to over stuff myself I refrained!
I've done this math for this incredible steakhouse potato gratin. I used russet baking potatoes from the bin versus a bag so you may be able to reduce the cost by using what you have in a bag and getting cheese on sale. The whole gratin cost $7.64 to make, feeding four portions for $1.91 each.