Dauphinois potatoes, or gratin dauphinois as they are also known, are luxurious, rich and creamy.
it makes a lovely side dish for a roast dinner – or serve with a simple green salad.
What kind of potatoes should i use for a dauphinois?
You can use either floury or waxy potatoes in a gratin dauphinois, but personally I much prefer using firm, waxy varieties. The floury kind tend to collapse and disintegrate into mush. My favourite variety for a gratin is the red skinned desiree – they hold their shape very well and have a lovely buttery texture. Charlotte, Anya, Nicola or any waxy potato would all be perfect.
How do you make the perfect potato dauphinois?
For such a simple recipe (essentially potatoes and cream) so much can go wrong. I’ve had a couple of disasters over the years, so here’s a few tips for a perfect potato gratin….
Oven temperature is crucial. Potato dauphinois requires slow cooking on a low temperature. If the heat is too high, the cream will split, resulting in a horrible, disappointing mess. Somewhere around 150C is perfect. The gratin might take closer to 90 minutes to cook through properly, but it will be worth it! You really need to keep a close eye on it after 60 minutes though. If it looks like it’s getting a little too brown, cover with tin foil or a piece of baking parchment.
I wouldn’t recommend swapping single cream for double here – you really need the high fat content of double (heavy) cream. Single cream is also much more likely to curdle in the oven.
To check if the gratin is ready, insert a sharp knife or skewer into the potatoes. They should feel nice and soft. The gratin should be lightly golden and most of the cream should be absorbed by the potatoes.
Instead of adding crushed garlic, you could simply rub a cut clove of garlic all around the gratin dish before adding the potatoes. This is a useful trick if you’re feeding people who aren’t keen on lots of garlic – you’ll just get the merest hint of garlic flavour and no-one will say “how much garlic did you put in this??”
This is definitely not diet food. A quite Google search will bring up many lower-fat versions of Dauphinois potatoes, but personally I would rather enjoy the real deal twice a year as a treat than have a faux version with a cream substitute on a regular basis.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH DAUPHINOIS POTATOES?
Dauphinoise potatoes go beautifully with any roasted meat – it’s especially lovely with roast lamb, a baked ham or pork. It’s also fabulous with just a simple green salad to cut through all that richness.
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- 900 g Potatoes, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible
- 500 ml Double Cream
- 150 Whole Milk
- 1 Clove of garlic, crushed
- A few Sprigs of fresh Thyme, leaves picked
- 1/4 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and Pepper
- 15 g Butter (for greasing the dish)
- Preheat the oven to 150C.Place the peeled and sliced potatoes in a large bowl of cold water to remove some of the starch.Generously butter a large gratin dish.
- Pour the milk and cream in a medium saucepan, add the garlic, fresh thyme leaves, the grated nutmeg and salt and pepper. Gently heat until warm. Remove from the heat.
- Drain the potatoes and dry them well using a clean tea towel. Place them back in the bowl and pour over the warm cream mixture.
- Pour the creamy potatoes into the gratin dish. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over the top. Bake in the oven for about one hour or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden and bubbling. If the potatoes are browing too fast, cover them with a layer of tin foil.