I’m constantly looking for new ways to cook potatoes. We eat a lot of potatoes (in reality, we just eat a lot of starch; we’re on an inverse Atkins diet). My standbys are mashed potatoes or Gratin Dauphinois but I’m always on the look out for something to complement them.
Or, more simply, there are times when I don’t want something as heavy as either of those; where it’s too hot out for something that rich or just too heavy.
The only similarity this gratin shares with other gratins is that it’s cooked in a gratin dish. It has no milk or cream. It has no cheese.
It does have onions, garlic, and bacon which happen to be three of my favorite things (I won’t channel Julie Andrews for everyone’s sake). To an extent, it vaguely reminds me of an Alsatian Tarte Flambée but with garlic and without cream.
While it’s not particular hot here in Southern California, my kitchen manages to get that way. As does our whole apartment in the afternoon (I blame our west facing windows). So heavy and creamy are out and light and garlicky are in.
We had this with Poulet Mistral Le Preiuré (Mistral’s Chicken with Garlic) which, ignoring the statement on that page, goes perfectly with this gratin. The garlic in both dishes compliments each other quite well.
Just make sure your date eats as much of it as you do.
Le Gratin de Pommes de Terre Estival de Mireille (Mireille’s Summer Potato Gratin)
Adapted from The Provence Cookbook
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz. of bacon, cut into lardons
20 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 lbs. potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock reduced to a syrup
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Combine the onions, olive oil, bacon, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Season to taste with salt. Cook until the bacon and onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Layer the potatoes in a gratin dish, seasoning each layer with salt. Top with the onion and bacon mixture. Drizzle the reduced stock over the gratin. Season with black pepper.
- Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 11/2 hours, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Regulate the heat so the onions don’t burn.
- Serve immediately.