Gratin of Potatoes with Bacon and Cream
From Anne Willan: From My Château
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
the gratin until golden brown and the edges are bubbling, 15-20
minutes. Test the center with a small knifethe blade should
feel hot when withdrawn.
6 to 8 hearty side-dish servings.
(Updated: 10/30/08 SN)