This is a heavenly side dish – rich, creamy, and ever so satisfying. It pairs handsomely with any meat, from pot roast to steak.

PDSome tinker with it – adding any thing from bacon to cheese – but this recipe is as simple as possible. Suggestions should you wish to include: anchovies, bacon/pancetta, gruyere cheese, celeriac, or turnips.

Whether to use waxy or floury papers is a matter of debate, I prefer waxy – with a little more texture.

Which is actually pretty easy to make: providing you have a food processor that can slice, or slightly less easy if you have a mandolin (and be careful!). I wouldn’t try slicing the potatoes with a knife, as not only would it take so long, but it would be difficult to get them sliced thinly enough.

Ingredients:

  • 30g butter
  • 1kg waxy potatoes
  • 400ml double cream
  • 1 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas Mark 3. Rub a gratin dish with the butter.
  2. Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, either use the disk in a food processor  or a mandoline.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cream, garlic, and nutmeg and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Layer the potatoes in the gratin dish, spreading them as flat and evenly as possible. Pour over the cream.
  5. Either lay a tray or bowl (eg one identical to the one you are cooking with) on top of the gratin to keep the top pushed down, cook for 30 minutes, and then remove for a further 30. Or, bake for 1 hour, pressing down with a spatula every 15 minutes or so to compress the potatoes and stop them drying out.
  6. The gratin is ready when the top is golden and bubbling and the potatoes are tender. You may want to turn the oven up to 190–200C (380F/Gas Mark 5 or 6) for the last 5 minutes to achieve a bit of extra crispness.
  7. Leave to stand for 5 minutes or so before serving.
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