Flavoursome potatoes dauphinoise
Right now, I am really missing travel. And I am really missing travelling to Europe. The other day, I shouted in frustration, “Europe is just over there and we can’t visit!” while pointing impotently in the direction of France. And I’m really, really missing going to Paris, forever one of my favourite cities on the planet. The food is always one of the highlights for me in the French capital – especially the magnificent things even the most unassuming cafe will do with potatoes.
There is a mash I once ate with panfried calf liver back in 2011 that I still talk about – and the other pleasure I have enjoyed many a time in Paris is potatoes dauphinoise. The delicately layered, wafer-thin slices of potato, infused with a creamy sauce, just enough salt to fill the mouth without being too much – it’s wondrous.
But until Saturday night, I’d never attempted a potatoes dauphinoise myself. I had a pre-spatchcocked poussin from Sainsbury’s to bung in the oven and I figured what better accompaniment than a dauphinoise and some asparagus wrapped in bacon. I looked at a few different recipes and then created a potatoes dauphinoise that was all my own. The addition of a little parmesan wasn’t entirely authentic, but it added an extra dimension of flavour.
Butter for greasing
9oog potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin or a sharp knife
300ml cream, double cream or creme fraiche
125ml chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, crushed
One bunch of spring onions, finely sliced, or one small onion, diced
Salt, pepper and finely grated parmesan to taste
- Grease a shallow baking dish with butter and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Place a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish and season with salt, pepper and parmesan to taste. Scatter a little onion on this later.
- Mix the cream, crushed garlic and stock in a jug and pour some over the first layer.
- Repeat the layering process with the potatoes, salt, pepper and onions and then pour over a little more of the cream mixture. Do this until you’re all out of potatoes and cream.
- Cover with a sheet of greased foil and cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cook for another 20-30 minutes, until it’s golden brown on top. Keep a watchful eye on the oven, especially if your oven has a tendency to run too hot.