Welcome to 2021 and good riddance to 2020 with all its plague and generally bad behaviour. For me it was a particularly odd year for reasons I won’t go into here, 90% lockdown tedium (yes I do have a particularly good Banana Bread recipe), but with a side order of chaos for good measure. Anywho, here we are in 2021 and while it isn’t hasn’t been a particularly encouraging start to the year, we can only assume that things will get better.
Like my struggles with rice and garlic bread, Potato Gratin is one of those dishes that I have failed to get just right over the years. Whichever method I tried, it never turned out quite right, overdone, underdone, too dry, too wet, never exactly what I wanted. So I was rummaging around for another recipe for another attempt to go with my overpriced, but very lovely, piece of striploin steak (the perfect steak is another thing I have only recently mastered and I’m properly middle-aged) when I came across Nigella Lawson’s take on this particular classic.
Nigella to the rescue. Her recipe has you cook the, not too fussily, sliced potatoes on the hob in a mix of cream, milk, garlic and onions before decanting to an ovenproof dish and browning it off with a quick flash in a hot oven.
Though I adapted it slightly, it worked perfectly and I was completely happy with a gratin I had produced for the first time ever!
This is scaled down from Nigella’s recipe with some other minor alterations. I would imagine you can fiddle about with it yourself and it will still work just fine.
The amounts here would feed two, or just yourself and you can eat the other half the next day.
- About 4 or 5 medium potatoes
- 250 milliliters of cream Nigella says double cream but I only had single cream to hand and it was fine
- 250 milliliters millilitres of full fat milk
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- Half a medium onion thinly sliced
- A few knobs of butter
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to hot, really hot, about 220/240 degrees centigrade. Or the equivalent in gas or American.
Peel the potatoes and slice them as thinly as you can be bothered. I reckon my slices were a little under one centimeter thick.
Place them in an appropriately sized pan with the sliced onion and minced garlic and cover them with the milk and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Bring them to the boil then turn down and simmer until they are just about tender, check on them occasionally by jabbing them with a knife, they should give way but don’t let them cook until they’re falling apart.
Grease an ovenproof dish with some of the butter and pour the potato mix into the dish, spread it out evenly-ish and dot the top with a couple of small knobs of butter. Into the hot oven it goes.
After about 15 to 20 minutes the top will have browned up nicely.
Serve with whatever you fancy, mine was a perfect piece of steak (balls to veganuary) some sauteed mushrooms and a cheeky Rioja (balls to dry January).
Delicious, a lot tastier than my crappy pic would lead you to believe.
Thank you Nigella.