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Recipes

Gratin of Potatoes with Bacon and Cream

From Anne Willan: From My Château Kitchen

1-1/2 pounds potatoes
2-1/2 cups milk, more if needed
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4-ounce piece of lean smoked bacon, diced
1-1/4 cups heavy cream, more if needed
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/8-inch slices, preferably using a mandoline. Put them in a saucepan with the milk, nutmeg, pepper and a little salt.

Stir to mix and bring them to a boil. If necessary, add more milk so the potatoes are covered. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the bacon, and fry, stirring, until browned. Lift it out and drain it on paper towels. Use the bacon fat to grease a 9-by-13-inch gratin or shallow baking dish. Heat oven to 375°F.

 

Drain the potatoes; discard the milk. Wipe out the saucepan and put back the potatoes with the bacon, cream and garlic. Heat gently and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes. They break up easily, so stir carefully.

The mixture should be quite creamy and liquid, not stiff. If necessary, stir in more cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the potatoes with the cream into the baking dish, spreading them evenly. Sprinkle the top with the grated cheese.

Bake the gratin until golden brown and the edges are bubbling, 15-20 minutes. Test the center with a small knife—the blade should feel hot when withdrawn.

Yields 6 to 8 hearty side-dish servings.

 

 

(Updated: 10/30/08 SN)


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