Ultimate Potato Bake (Potato au Gratin or Potato Dauphinoise)
For me, potato bake is the ultimate treat when it comes to carbs. I know most Atkins followers would sooner die than even look at this recipe but I don’t think there is anything more satisfying than soft potatoes enrobed in creamy, flavourful sauce, topped with mountains of salty cheese. Can you think of anything better? It’s also very hard to screw up Potato bake. But some people actually manage to. Using milk instead of cream, using no spices/flavourings. All of this leaves it quite bland and boring. You see, my reasoning is that I don’t make potato bake THAT often. Maybe once every 2 months…so when I do make it, I do it properly. I use cream, loads of cheese and I make sure it’s packed with flavour. Otherwise, you might as well serve baked potatoes with sour cream (another one of my favs!).
I add a bit of oomph to my recipe by using Cream of Chicken soup powder. Once again, I’m sure many foodies would rather hang their heads in shame than admit to using soup powder but I just love the flavour it adds. And I don’t have to do too much. I love the simplicity of this and that it literally takes about 10 minutes to prepare (if you don’t cook the potatoes before hand). I slice my potatoes with my food processor on the thinnest setting so they are super thin and I don’t have to cook them before hand. If you want to cut down the time the potatoes will spend in the oven, just boil them for 10 minutes before hand, slice them and continue with the rest of the dish.
Makes enough for 4-6 people
8 potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 packet Cream of Chicken soup powder (You could also use Brown onion)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh Thyme
Salt & Black pepper to taste
2 cups grated cheese of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Grease an oven-proof dish well and start layering the sliced potatoes. Season each layer as you go.
- Combine the cream, milk, soup powder, garlic, nutmeg and thyme and whisk well to en sure there are no lumps. Season lightly and gently pour over the potatoes. I then take some cling wrap and just push down on the potatoes to make sure the ‘sauce’ has distributed well. This is optional of course.
- Top with the grated cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 1 – 1.5 hours (if the potatoes have been pre-boiled, cook for 45mins to 1hour) until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Remove the foil and heat the grill of the oven. Place the potatoes back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes until the cheese is crisp and golden.
- Caramelise 2 onions with 2tsp of Balsamic vinegar. Layer half of the potatoes, then the onions, and then the other half. Bake as you would the plain potato bake.
- Fry 250g chopped up bacon until crispy, do the same as with the onions and add half of the cheese ontop of the bacon then follow with the rest of the potatoes and bake.