Meat and Potatoes. It’s an American staple. But as you might have gathered, it’s not always my preferred route for a meal. I’m not a fan of red meat. My go-tos generally are chicken or seafood. Within the last 5 years or so I’ve learned to love hamburgers, but it hasn’t really spread into liking steaks… yet. Maybe. We’ll see.
In order to help cater to those meat and potato lovers reading, this week I made some scalloped potatoes. no, wait. It’s potatoes au gratin. I’ve had to continually correct myself on this. It turns out, I don’t really know the difference between scalloped and au gratin. The short answer is that au gratin has cheese and thicker sliced potatoes and scalloped is thinner slices with a milk-based sauce. Everything is better with cheese so au gratin is the way we’re going.
Perfect Potatoes au Gratin
Recipe from The Pioneer Woman
4 russet potatoes, cleaned
1 ½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 tbsp flour
2 cups shredded cheddar
Salt & pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. You’ll begin by cutting the potatoes into thick slices. To speed things up, I stacked like 3 or 4 slices on top of each other then cut them into fourths. Try to keep the size/thickness of each piece somewhat consistent. This will help even cooking across all pieces.
For the baking dish, I didn’t have a nice oval casserole dish so I just bought a set of two foil ones at the store for about five bucks. You can probably use a normal 9×13 cake type pan, too. It just won’t be as deep since this is bigger than an oval one. Spread some butter on the bottom of the dish. Or use pam. I’ll let you decide which way will taste better. 🙂
In a small bowl whisk together cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper. Place about 1/3 of the potato in the bottom of the pan and pour some cream mixture over the potatoes so it soaks in a bit. Do this two more times, adding potatoes and pour cream over it until all gone.
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After that, uncover and bake for another 20 minutes until the potatoes are golden brown. Finally, pour the grated cheese on top of the potatoes. Use as much as you’d like. A normal bag from the store is 2 cups. Me? I used the entire bag!
Pop the pan back in the oven uncovered for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. It’ll be hot when ready to eat so be careful. I have to be patient when making potatoes. They take so long! But it always ends up being worth it. This would be a great side dish to bring to a dinner party or potluck or family meal. I’ll admit it was too much for just me. I can only eat so many potatoes in 3 days!