Onion Potato Gratin

Recipe updated March 3, 2011

With cheese, onions, and potatoes, how can one go wrong? Unless of course you are on a diet, in which case you should probably stay away from this one. This recipe is easy to make, delicious, and filling.

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Onion Potato Gratin Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de provence, or dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (packed) grated Gruyere cheese (about 4 oz)
  • 8 Tbsp (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 oz)
  • 2/3 cup half-and-half (half cream, half milk)

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F (unless preparing in advance).

1 Boil the potatoes for 4 minutes in salted water. Drain and set aside.

2 Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle them with salt and the herbes de provence. Turn off the heat and set aside.

3 Spread half of the sliced potatoes over the bottom of an 11x7-inch baking dish (Pyrex works well). Sprinkle well with salt and white pepper. Sprinkle with about a third of the Gruyure and Parmesan cheeses. Top with the onions, the nutmeg and another 1/3 of the cheeses. Layer the remaining sliced potatoes on top of the cheeses. Pour the half and half over everything. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining one-third of the cheeses over everything. (At this point you can make a day ahead, just cover and refrigerate until time to cook.)

4 Bake uncovered in 400°F oven until cream thickens and everything is nicely browned, about 25-30 minutes.

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Links:
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin - from Pinch My Salt
Truffled Chanterelle, Celery Root and Potato Gratin - from 101 Cookbooks
Purple Potato Gratin - from Eating Out Loud


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7 Comments

  1. Amy Wohl

    This is a very lovely version that is a kind of cross-over between the onion-less Pommes Gratin Dauphinois and the onion-scented (but no dairy products) Pommes Boulangere, often served with a lamb roast. We make both.

    But our own version is yet another compromise. We cook the potatoes in milk (2% or whole milk works fine) until just tender and layer in a buttered pan with grated Gruyere and about 3-4 tablespoons of butter. You may decide whether to use the milk the potatoes were cooked in or some half-and-half to pour into the pan (you will need about 2 cups, enough to come barely half way up the potatoes). We bake them in a 350 oven for about 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and puffed.

  2. Kathy

    I tripled this recipe (except the onions) and made twelve servings. The potatoes were incredible and everyone went back for more. Did not have to broil, browned up nicely in the oven. Definitely a winner, my sister-in-law said it will have to replace her “cheesy potatoes” she serves on Christmas Eve.

  3. Anna

    Is it possible to slice the potatoes very thin, with a mandolin for example, and go directly into the oven and avoid the pre boiling?

    Good question. I don’t know the answer. If you try it, please let us know how it works out for you. ~Elise

  4. Philip

    Regarding the last post about boiling the potato before baking: I make a potato & goat cheese gratin that is very similar to this and I don’t parboil them. It works just fine although you have to cook the gratin about an hour and fifteen minutes to get the potatoes done (assuming you’re using yukons; russets seem to cook quicker). I have wondered if not parboiling allows the potato to take on more of the sauce and allows the starch to also thicken the sauce more? I am actually going to try this dish tonight and will parboil so I’ll comment back with what I find. All other things being equal parboiling could be a great time saver.

  5. Giorgia

    @ Anna
    I tried a couple of times a similar recipe without boiling potatoes and result has been a disaster! Potatoes need water to become tender and this does not work in the oven as there is no water in the recipe. To be honest, I do not know the types of potatoes this recipe calls for, so it might work fort his specific type. However, if you use “normal” potatoes, I strongly advise you to boil them first.

  6. Florence

    This recipe sounds very close to what the French have: Tartiflette Savoyarde.
    Only that calls for bacon bits and “reblochon”, a specific type of French cheese, cut in halves the long way, and you just lay the two circles on top of the rest before putting it in the oven… Yum YUM!!! But I suppose that French cheese may be hard to find in the States.

  7. rebecca aherne

    Can this be made the day ahead of time?

    You can make it up through step 3, 8 hours ahead of time. You might be even able to push that and do it even more ahead of time. ~Elise

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