Gratin dauphinois

We were planning to eat the last of the meat-and-potato pie tonight, but I wanted to serve something a little different with it them time around.

The Other Half suggested salad and the boys mashed potato.

I didn’t feel either of those was sufficiently different, so after some thinking decided to make gratin dauphinois—the only problem being we had neither cream or gruyere cheese.

We did have milk and cheddar cheese, though, so after lifting half a bucket of Courage potatoes I set to work on a variation of gratin dauphinois.


  • Butter
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 600ml milk
  • 150g Cheddar cheese (all we had, you can always use more)
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour


  1. Grease a heavy, ovenproof dish with butter.
  2. Scrub and thinly slice the potatoes into a bowl of water. A mandoline grater or a thin slicing attachment for a food processor is ideal for cutting uniform slices of about 5mm thick.
  3. Peel and mash the garlic.
  4. Grate the cheese.
  5. Pour the milk into a heavy pan over a medium heat, reserving a couple of tablespoons of milk. Grate the nutmeg into the milk, season well with salt and pepper, and stir in the mashed garlic. 
  6. Stir in the cheese when the milk begins to steam.
  7. Mix the cornflour with the remaining milk to make a thin paste. Stir the paste into the milk.
  8. Gradually bring the milk to the boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and cook for five minutes. It should have the consistency of a thin, pourable sauce and be very liquid.
  9. Drain the potato slices and return to the bowl. Pour the milk mixture over the potato and gently fold the two together, ensuring you get a thorough and even coat on the slices.
  10. Pour the potatoes and milk into the greased dish, level, and firm down with the back of a wooden spoon. 
  11. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C (160C for a fan oven) for one hour. The top should be bubbling and browned, but if not brown it under a grill.

And yes, it was enjoyed by all as were the fresh, steamed cabbage and baby carrots.

3 Responses to “Gratin dauphinois”

  1. Necessity is the mother of invention and that recipe sounds delicious. My potato crop has been miserable this year – well pump failed (again) during the hottest weeks of the year – so I will be eking out my tatties this year.

  2. Nice one, I make my version of “potato lyonnaise” for exactly the same reasons, 1. looking for a potato alternative recipe. 2. didn’t have cream/cheese etc.

    It’s the same, but you layer slices of onion, potato (as thin as you can), thyme, salt pepper, finishing with a layer of spuds. Then put a little stock into the dish so that it is just below the spud surface. Dot butter on the top. Cover with foil for around 30 mins (depends on thickness), when soft take off foil to get a crisp top and thicken up the juice…hmmm

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