Potato and horseradish gratin

March 22nd, 2011

I like to think that I know my way around a kitchen, but one thing I’ve never seemed to master is patience. All the culinary disasters I can think of revolve around me not being able to leave something alone until it’s done.

This is probably why I’ve never had much success with dauphinoise, there’s nothing worse than an undercooked potato. I think I finally cracked it with this recipe and when you make a really good dauphinoise, there’s pretty much nothing better.

There are a few key things to remember: layering the potatoes neatly and seasoning generously in between each layer and cooking long and slow in the oven (for about 1½ hours). Don’t be tempted to increase the temperature, otherwise the cream might curdle. I flavoured mine with horseradish to go with some beer-braised ox cheeks, but you could swap this for apple slices to go with pork or add some chopped herbs – thyme, sage and rosemary would all work well. You can also substitute the potatoes for parsnip or celeriac.

If you want to be very posh, you could also bake the dauphinoise in a square baking tray. Once it’s cooked, leave to cool slightly then cut into portions or stamp out rounds with a biscuit cutter.

serves 4
500g potatoes
150ml double cream
150ml milk
1 tbsp horseradish sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, you want them to be about ½cm thick otherwise they won’t cook. (I sliced mine in a food processor.)
  • Layer the potatoes in an ovenproof dish, seasoning really well in between each layer.
  • Once you’ve layered half the potatoes, mix the milk, cream and horseradish in a jug until well combined. Pour half of the mixture over the potatoes.
  • Repeat with the remaining potatoes and cream mixture, pressing down the layers of potato.
  • Bake in the oven for 1¼-1½ hours, you should be able to easily insert a knife into the dauphinoise.
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