Pommes Dauphinoise Gratin comes from the Dauphine region of France. It differs from Pommes Dauphinoise, which are deep fried choux pastry made with mashed potatoes.
Traditionally the gratin version is made with very finely sliced raw potatoes layered and baked in cream. Slicing potatoes this fine requires a mandolin, which is not always available. Here I depart from tradition and parboil the potatoes before I bake them. This ensures the potatoes cook through in the oven.The addition of cheese and eggs varies in chefs' accounts.
I do not use eggs but I do use cheese. This vegetarian dish is served with some variety of roast meat.
You could also serve it with the Lentil salad recipe in my cookbook An Indian Sense of Salad (Penguin). You will need ideally an 8 inch square or round that is.5 inches deep. You can also use a 9 by 13 but you will get less layers.
SERVES 5-6 AS A SIDE DISH
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
500ml double cream
3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 garlic cloves, smashed
8 large cooking potatoes-ideally a waxy potato like Talegaon or Maris Piper
salt and white pepper to taste
120g shredded gruyère or use a melting cheese
Heat oven to 190C/170C.
Peel the potatoes and slice them into rounds about 1/4 inch thick.
Place them in a wide and deep pan with the garlic, nutmeg, milk and cream and bring to a slow boil.
As soon as it reaches a boil switch off the flame and using a slotted spoon remove the sliced potatoes from the liquid and put them on a plate. Do not over cook the potatoes. They must be soft but also keep their shape when baked.
Butter gratin dish.
Using tongs arrange potatoes in layers in a gratin dish.
Add salt to the leftover cream and milk and adjust for taste. Stir in a little white pepper.
Pour over the layered potatoes. Use a soup to make sure all the potatoes are well steeped in the liquid and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
Open oven and scatter the Gruyere cheese over the gratin and broil until golden brown.