I received a new cookbook over the Labor Day weekend from family members. They know my love for French cooking. I knew immediately what recipe I would try first. One of the foods that the French do so well is the potato. From pommes frites to Gratin Dauphinois, the humble potato is showcased at its best.
I made a variation of Potatoes a la Boulangere. At one time, it was the practice in France to leave a roast with the town boulangere (baker) on Sundays. He would roast the meat in his bread oven while the town’s people were at church. Each family would pick up their roast after services. It was traditional to place large pans of potatoes under the meats to catch the drippings and pick up the flavors of the roasts.
The variation, Potatoes Savoyarde, comes from the Savoy, high in the French Alps. The addition of ham or bacon and Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese makes the dish hearty enough to be a main course.
The book French Classics Made Easy by Richard Grausman is one of those cookbooks that you will use over and over again. Traditional dishes like Beef Burgundy and Cassoulet are made easy while still retaining the well loved flavors. I absolutely loved the potatoes savoyarde. They were easy to make and full of flavor. Unfortunately I dined alone so I halved the recipe. David is on his motorcycle on his way to Vermont. I will be joining him in a few days. Update: I am now in beautiful Vermont and am looking forward to sharing some scenic images with you soon.
I enjoyed my potatoes with leftover grilled chicken and snow peas. Thanks Dave and Darla for a thoughtful gift.
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, chopped
4 pounds large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 8), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups chicken or beef stock
3 ounces diced ham or cooked bacon
2/3 cup grated Gruyere or Emmentaler cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
Layer the potatoes and onions in an ovenproof casserole or baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the cooked bacon.
In a saucepan, brig the stock to a boil and pour it over the potatoes. Top with grated cheese. Bake the casserole in the oven until the potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Adjust the oven temperature if necessary so that the stock boils gently.