Potato Dauphinoise is a classic gratin style potato dish with layers of thinly sliced potatoes, cream, butter and Gruyere cheese. This recipe is from Julia Child’s collection.
As we move into Fall and closer to the holidays, I’ll be publishing a series of recipes, the first being The Potato Series which will consist of four different methods for preparing potatoes. This is the first of The Potato Series: Potato Dauphinoise. Watch the video or read on for step by step instructions and the recipe!
[wonderplugin_video iframe=”https://youtu.be/cdnw1eTvLMs” lightbox=1 lightboxsize=1 lightboxwidth=960 lightboxheight=480 autoclose=1 showimage=”https://www.smartypantskitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Potato-Dauphinoise-close.jpg” videowidth=600 videoheight=400 keepaspectratio=1 videocss=”position:relative;display:block;background-color:#000;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%;margin:0 auto;” playbutton=”https://www.smartypantskitchen.com/wp-content/plugins/wonderplugin-video-embed/engine/playvideo-64-64-0.png”]
Potato Dauphinoise is really quite easy to make and has just a few simple ingredients, but it is so delicious and impressive! Gratin refers to the browning of the top, whether it be cheese or breadcrumbs. Interestingly, Julia did not include breadcrumbs in her recipe, as she followed the traditional French preparation.
Peel, rinse and thinly slice potatoes 1/8th of an inch.
What Type of Potatoes Should I Use for Potato Dauphinoise?
You’ll want to use a potato that is high in starch, like a Russet, or Idaho. These potatoes are higher in starch and absorb more than a waxy potato. For this recipe you want that potato to absorb all that flavor from the cream and cheese!
Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub it around the sides and bottom of your baking dish. Then, do the same with about a teaspoon of butter.
Make the first layer of potatoes by placing the thin slices in the bottom of the baking dish. Lightly salt & pepper; sprinkle with thyme; then pour 1/3 cream over first layer; add cheese. Repeat process two more times ending with a layer of cheese on top.
What Type of Cheese Should I Use for Potato Dauphinoise?
Switzerland’s Gruyere is the traditional choice, however it is very expensive. Other less costly substitutions include Norway’s Jarlsberg, Switzerland’s Emmental, or Swiss. The goal is to use a relatively mild cheese that has a somewhat rich nutty flavor. Any of these cheeses will work in this dish.
Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 1 hour on 375°F.
Remove baking dish from oven; turn oven to broil setting; return potatoes to broiler until the top is lightly golden brown.
Options and Hacks
If you are feeling the need to really impress, serve individual ramekins of Potato Dauphinoise!
Here’s an easy way to accomplish this! First, make the dish ahead in a large casserole dish but don’t add the last layer of cheese! Once the potatoes have settled a bit, line each ramekin with garlic and butter, place a scoop of Potato Dauphinoise in each, top with cheese and place the ramekins on a baking sheet under the broiler.
Looking for more side dishes? Check out the recipe index for other great side dishes!
Thinly sliced potatoes, nestled in a rich cheesy cream sauce with a hint of thyme and garlic.
- 2 lbs potatoes peeled, rinsed, thinly sliced 1/8"
- ½ clove garlic peeled
- 3 tablespoons butter cut into quarters
- 12 oz. Gruyere cheese grated
- 1½ cups cream
- 2 teaspoons thyme dried (us 1 tsp. for fresh thyme)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Using a large oven-proof baking dish, rub cut side of garlic around the inside of the baking dish; do the same with butter
Slice potatoes into 1/8" slices; a mandolin works quickest!
Line garlic/butter seasoned baking dish with a layer of sliced potatoes
Pour 1/3 of the cream over the potatoes; lightly salt & pepper; sprinkle thyme over potatoes; add 1/3 of the cheese
Repeat above process two more times, ending with a layer of cheese on top (See Recipe Notes for Preparing for Large Groups)
Cover dish tightly with foil and place on middle rack; back for 1 hour
After one hour; remove foil and re-set oven to broil
Broil potatoes until golden brown on top
**This recipe rarely feeds 12, as indicated on the original recipe, simply because people LOVE this dish and keep going back for seconds, thirds, and fourths!
- For this reason, I highly recommend you consider a three-layered, 9 x 13 dish would reasonably feed 6-8.
Preparation for Large Groups:
- If you're serving a large group, consider using the hack as noted in the post; bake a huge dish of Potato Dauphinoise, then re-plate smaller portions into ramekins, top with cheese, broil, and serve.