I’m all about the cheese, bout the cheese, and bubbles. Yessss, layers of tender potatoes blanketed in bubbly, melty, rich cheese. Sigh. Who can resist? Have you had Au Gratin Potatoes before? I know it’s a fancy French name, but I have to admit I used to think people were saying “oak rotten.” And that, my friends, does not sound yummy at all. Who wants to eat rotten potatoes? And what do oak trees have to do with potatoes?
My family has been making these Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes for years. When my dad was in the military, we lived in Morocco where we had a gorgeous house and even a maid and gardener. The maid had learned how to make these from the woman who lived in the house before us and had taken a French cooking class. Good thing I was brave enough to try them despite them having “rotten” in their name. Because I am never going back, my friends. Fries, baked potato, mashed potatoes….they got nothin’ on these babies.
My sister often makes these for Christmas dinner and they’re my favorite part. In fact, I’d be fine if she’d just park the pan in front of me. Because it’s a special occasion and calories don’t count then. Now the best Au Gratin Potatoes, I think, are made with rich Gruyere cheese. But it can be kind of pricey, so feel free to substitute cheddar or Monterey Jack. Or go crazy and do Pepperjack. Or try a variety! The possibilities are endless. Like your love for these will be.
- 10 large russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated
- 1 quart half-and-half
- 2 sticks butter, cut into pats or melted
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cloves (3 tsp.) garlic, minced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter a large roasting pan pan and layer potatoes so they are barely overlaid.
- Dot with pats of butter or brush with melted butter.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper and garlic and dust with flour.
- Sprinkle with cheese to coat. Repeat layers 3-4 times, ending with cheese on the top.
- Pour half-and-half until you can see it start to seep in.
- Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until pierced potatoes are done.
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