Usual rules apply, it isn’t a single photograph of the finished product with a boring list of words, nor is there a list of ingredients at the start, you need to read through to garner what you require and use the images to learn with a helping hand; I’ve been told countless times this method works far better so that anyone using the recipe can see what their product looks like in comparison to an ideal they may be trying to follow.
The best potato dish, in my opinion, now follows.
So, firstly take a 2.5kg bag of spuds, most potatoes in supermarkets are in 2.5kg bags, we’re after starchy ones today as that will help thicken the sauce as we simmer them.
Let’s begin with King Edwards, peel and slice the whole bag. It can be achieved by hand but can also be quite laborious.
I use a food processor and it only takes a handful of minutes to achieve the uncooked crisp you see above.
Because there is a lot of cream and calories in this dish I’m using Elmlea Light Double Cream which comes in pots of 284ml each, so grab 2 of those and 300ml semi-skimmed milk. You can use far less of either, it all depends on how you wish the finished product to be.
I’m making enough here to be used throughout the week for the girls dinners after school and hence slightly more liquid than some versions. At the end of the day, you can have it neatly stacked in a portion, moist but no excess liquid or a creamy portion each time, swings and roundabouts.
Warm the cream and milk gently and add the potatoes, do not stir for the first 20 minutes, you want the liquid to warm and coat each slice. Then begin to stir gently with a wooden spoon, do not use metal spoons you are likely to break the potatoes.
Season as you see fit, I do not add salt as the Gruyère cheese will do that effect later but add some freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
This pot is best left on a minimum heat for approximately 1hr, it is up to you to guage the time, perhaps grab a fork and remove a single slice, if it is still gritty then you may need longer but beware, you do not wish them to break apart.
Once you’ve reached the stage you wish, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool. Trust me, you’ll burn your fingers if you don’t.
Use a dish that is both deep enough and wide enough, this is 2.75″ x 10″ and is just the perfect size for the amount we have here. Grease the pan with a smattering of garlic butter and just a small sprinking of the Gruyère cheese. Then, if you have food safe gloves, use them, and later the potato slice by slice, ensuring each one overlaps.
Add some freshly ground black pepper and a small amount of unwaxed lemon zest, this really lifts the layers and adds to the flavour.
Following that, add another small amount of sauce and Gruyère (this is not like a lasagne), you do not require an abundance of sauce.
Simply repeat the process.
Then create the final layer, as below. Don’t forget, we ensured the slices were cooked and not broken earlier so there should be no surprises when we serve.
Finally, complete the top layer including zest and cheese but then cover with 2 layers of foil, tightly, and cook in a pre-heated oven, you get a choice here, approximately 165c for circa 90 minutes or closer to 200 for 1hr; don’t forget, we have already cooked the slices.
For the last 8 to 10 minutes remove the foil and allow the top to crisp up.
When you remove from the oven, cover once again with foil to permit all the flavours to finish combining and set aside for at least 10 minutes to avoid burning the roof of your mouth.
Portion and serve.
I’ve served the Dauphinoise with Chicken Wrapped in Streaky Bacon. But what the heck you wish to serve it with, ensure you have a good bottle and enjoy.