So, for those of you that grew up with Potato au Gratin that came out of a box and tasted like paste… I am sorry. I too was not a fan of the gratin until one day I was watching food network and fell in love with this fancy GRA-tan… I kid you not, I made it at least twice before I realized that my yummy dinner pronounced a different way literally sent a shiver up my spine.
So Gratin is now something I make and honestly, I rock the Gratin. Here is how you can make some damn fine taters and cheese your self….
First things, first.
And then …
Now, down to business. Gratin is pretty simple. Potatoes, onion, cheese, meat, seasoning and cream. I switch out the cheese and meat often. Don’t have bacon? Use ham or leftover turkey or roast chicken or I guess you could skip meat but why would you? The cheese, I think traditionally this would call for Gruyere or a similar swiss type cheese. That is tasty too, but I am on a major Gouda kick right now, so that is what I am using.
Grab your self a bag of ‘taters at the store, the baking kind not the red ones. wash them up and then get them naked.
Then it’s time to slice them up. You want them sliced very thin so that they cook evenly. I suggest not free handing it. I also suggest not doing it the way I am about to show you.
For those of you wondering why on earth I am using a box grater… It’s simple really the adapter that holds the blade on my food processor was claimed as a cat toy several years ago and never seen since. Yes, I do know what a mandolin slicer is. No I don’t have one. My friends can tell you why. Speaking of my friends, they can also tell you what’s going to happen next.
Anywho…. So you slice up the ‘taters, wipe up the blood and move on. Grab an onion and slice up about 1/2-3/4 of it.
Once you have the potatoes and onions all sliced up, put them in a pan and fill it with enough water to just cover and
throw it on the stove, on high. Like this…
While you wait for that to get up to a boil, lets talk bacon. Get some good thick cut bacon. I like this pepper stuff. What I really like is bacon from my own pig. I really, really like it when my bacon comes from a pig that liked to bite me. However the problem with pigs is that they come with a limited amount of bacon. Therefor sometimes I have to buy bacon. I only buy the thick cut stuff.
Depending on your level of self restraint, take out 1/2-3/4 of the bacon and cut it up into hunks about an inch long. Toss it in the fry pan and make the dogs wake up and beg from the smell of bacon goodness.
Cook the bacon until it is almost crispy. Since it has to cook a little while longer in the oven you don’t want it to be totally done. Once the potatoes and onions have started to boil turn the burner off. Let it them hang in the boiling water for about 5 minutes then drain them and rinse them and let them hangout until you’re ready for them. Until then it’s time to get the rest of the ingredients ready.
Get out your the rest of your seasonings now… This is what I use. I figure the bacon has pepper covered.
THen get out your casserole dish and drizzle a little oil in it. Just enough that you can cover the sides and bottom. The oil helps the potato slices on the edges get nice and crispy.
Now would be a good time to turn on the oven, 400 degrees. Nice and toasty.
Put half of the potato and onion mixture into your dish.
Then sprinkle with some salt and a good pinch of whatever seasonings you want to use. I don’t use the Tabasco until the end.
Throw 1/2 of the bacon and 1/2 of both cheeses on top.
Now, throw the rest of the potatoes on top of this and make sure that the potatoes are even and you don’t have any big holes.
Sprinkle with salt and seasoning again. Add the rest of the bacon and then the rest of the cheese.
Now is when I add a few dashes of Tabasco.
Now if this recipe doesn’t quite meet your daily Dairy requirement… This comes next.
Drizzle about 1/2 of this container over the potato mixture. Let it sit for a few minutes and then put the dish, uncovered into the oven for about 30 minutes. Take it out when if looks like this…
Now here is the hardest part. Wait. Wait about 15 minutes to dig into the potato and cheesy goodness that is calling your name.
So in my title I said something about a contest… The first person who can find and correctly name all the movies I quoted will win… some cheese! Just comment below with your guess.