Raymond Blanc's Gratin Dauphinois
Seriously satisfying – layers of potato cooked in a rich garlic cream with Gruyère cheese. This dish goes best with roast meat, particularly beef. The potato variety is important. I find that Desiree and Belle de Fontenay work best, and both are usually available in supermarkets. The gratin can be cooked an hour or so before the meal and then reheated 20 minutes before serving.
|4||medium potatoes (Desiree or Belle de Fontenay), weighing about 450g (1lb) in total|
|300ml (½ pint)||full-fat milk|
|milk 100ml (3½fl oz)||double cream|
|8 gratings||of nutmeg|
|100g (4oz)||Gruyère, grated|
You will need a 20cm (8in) gratin dish
Preheat the oven to 120°C/250°F/gas ½ then peel the potatoes and slice them 2mm ( 1 ⁄16 in) thick – a mandoline will make the job easier. Do not wash the potato slices, as you need to keep the starch in them to help thicken the cream.
On a medium heat, in a medium pan, bring the milk and cream to the boil. Add the sliced potatoes and stir to coat them with the cream. Season with the nutmeg, 5 pinches of salt and 2 pinches of black pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes to prevent the mixture sticking to the base of the pan and to distribute the heat throughout the potatoes. Stir in the grated cheese and then remove the pan from the heat.
Rub the gratin dish with the garlic. With a spatula, spread the potato mixture out evenly in the dish. Bake for 35 minutes; there should be tiny bubbles on the surface of the dish. The gratin is cooked when the tip of a sharp knife cuts into it with little resistance (you shouldn’t feel the layers).
To brown the top, place the gratin under a hot grill for 2–3 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.