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+ servings
baked potatoes au gratin on white plate with sliced green onion

Classic Potatoes Au Gratin

Steven Pennington
Creamy cheesy potato recipe that everyone loves
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 6 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 6 mins
Course Casserole
Cuisine French

Suggested Equipment

Casserole Dish

Ingredients
 

Bechamel Ingredients

  • All-Purpose Flour 3 Tablespoons
  • High-Quality Butter 4 Tablespoons
  • Whole Milk (/ Plus more to help control the thickness) 2 ½ Cups
  • Cloves 7
  • Nutmeg teaspoon
  • Onion ½ large
  • Thyme ½ teaspoon
  • Minced Garlic ½ teaspoon

Potatoes Au Gratin Ingredients

  • Russet Potatoes 4 large
  • Gruyere Cheese or Swiss (/shredded) 1 ¼ cups
  • Sea Salt 1 ½ teaspoon
  • Black Pepper ½ tsp
  • Onion - Julianne Cut (/ Julianne cut onion, long thin slices. ) ½ larger

Instructions
 

  • The Bechamel Roux: First melt butter over medium-high heat, then add the ½ teaspoon of minced garlic and cook in the butter.
    Then add the flour and coat the flour in the butter.
    "Cook-Out" the raw flour. Allow the flour to absorb the butter. This will help ensure the bechamel sauce will not be grainy.
  • Next, add in ⅓ of the milk and stir constantly. The sauce will try to thicken instantly. Add the remaining milk at this point, little by little. Keep stirring.
    All flour hydrates a little differently, meaning you many need more milk at this point. Add enough milk the sauce is a little bit loose.
    Allow the milk to come to a soft boil. (Soft boil means the bubbles are breaking the surface, but not a full boil)
  • Once at a soft boil, turn off the heat and move the pot to another burner that is off.
    The sauce will thicken off the heat. If the sauce gets too thick for your purposes add a little more milk to thin out the sauce.
    Add the salt and pepper, then Nutmeg, to taste. Stir and incorporate.
  • Onion Prep: Slice the onion in half, then press 9 to12 cloves into the exterior of the onion. Add the onion to the sauce with the clove side down.
    placing cloves in half onion for bechamel sauce
  • Cover the pot for a few minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  • Prepping the potatoes: First, wash the potatoes well under cold water.
    Using a mandolin or sharp knife, make thin slices. The thickness choice is up to you. I suggest ¼ to ⅛ inch slices.
    Remember the potato skin is where most of the health benefits reside. I took a peeler and removed only part of the skins. Make stripes going down the length of the potato. This helps with the presentation.
  • Building the casserole: First, cover the bottom of your casserole dish with bechamel sauce. Using glass-bakeware is suggested for even cooking. The bechamel sauce acts to protect the potatoes from burning and sticking.
    Next, add two layers of potatoes. Lay the potatoes out with the second layer slightly covering the last potato. Shingle pattern.
    Then add a layer of cheese and follow covering with Bechamel sauce. Add more cheese next. Cut an onion julienne cut (long strips) adds more flavor and texture.
    Repeat the process till you've filled your casserole dish to the desired level.
    Add the remaining bechamel sauce on top to protect the potatoes. Don't drown the potatoes in sauce, helps with presentation. Cover with more cheese and place on a cookie sheet to prevent bubbling over.

Baking

  • Preheat Oven 375 (could do 400) both work
  • Cook for 45 to one hour. All ovens are different and the depth of everyone's cookware will be different.
  • Test for doneness. Poke with a fork. If soft enough, turn on the broiler to brown the top. Be sure to keep an eye on this process as the potatoes au gratin could burn. Crack the oven door so you can see what's happening.
  • Allow the casserole to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

History of Potatoes Au Gratin

The Potato au Gratin goes back to 1894 when it was popularized in France by the French Chef Louis Diat at the New York Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Louis Diat is recorded as having said that he created the dish after eating something similar at a dinner party in Paris.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Classic Potatoes Au Gratin
Amount per Serving
Calories
343
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15
g
23
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
45
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
598
mg
26
%
Potassium
 
910
mg
26
%
Carbohydrates
 
40
g
13
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
13
g
26
%
Vitamin A
 
503
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
11
mg
13
%
Calcium
 
326
mg
33
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Classic Potatoes Au Gratin, How To Make Potatoes Au Gratin
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