Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I came across this recipe years ago and loved it when I read it. It accompanies any beef, ham, barbeque, crown roast of pork or thick chops, etc. The only change I made was that I add a little more gruyere than is called for, but other than that, don't try to change it. For example, don't add extra potato because you have just one more and don't open 3 (14 1/2 oz) cans of broth and add it because you don't want to throw any out. And if you realize after it is assembled that you forgot the butter, it will work but it won't taste as good, so trust me, I have done all of these things over the past 15 years. Oh, and don't make this the night before and refrigerate it without cooking, the potatoes will turn gray and won't turn back, I know, my friend K did this...for a family holiday dinner. Lastly, allow for these to rest for 20 minutes on top of the 90 minute cooking time before trying to serve them, so plan ahead.
If you have a mandolin or a V-slicer, pull it out, and if not, I hope you have excellent knife skills. A V-slicer is a $30 version of a mandolin and can be found at Bed, Bath, Beyond. You still have time, get it on your Christmas list! I use mine a lot so it is an excellent investment.
Here's the recipe:
Butter well a lasagna sized casserole dish of sorts. I have several dishes that work well, but in general, 9"x13" and I would not go much bigger than this, so measure your dish. Next, grate .25 lbs (1/4 lb) Gruyere Cheese, feel free to go slightly higher. If you want a less expensive choice, substitute Emmentaler. Cube 2 Tbl UnSalted Butter into 1/4" cubes. Peel 3 lbs. of Yellow Gold or Yukon Gold. Try to get the weight fairly close. If you buy a 5lb bag, count them all and use 3/5 of the total. The last time I made these there were 15 so I used 9. Easy enough! Continuing on, slice the potatoes on the V-slicer to 3.5mm thick. When done, gently toss the potatoes with 3 Tbl Flour.
Preheat oven to 375. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the casserole dish. Top with 1/3 of the Gruyere, dot with 1/3 of the butter and add S&P to taste. Repeat 2 times. Add 4 Cups of good quality Chicken Broth. If you want to add any flavoring, White Pepper and Nutmeg are good choices. For reduced salt, additional salt isn't necessary because the broth and cheese are both salty. Place in center of oven and bake UNCOVERED for 1 hour 30 minutes. Make sure to let it rest before trying to serve, otherwise it will be soupy. If you need to transport this, bake for the first 1 hour 10 minutes. Finish at location in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Enjoy one of my favorite versatile side dishes.