bay dauphinoise

potatoes rarely appear on my table other than in the form of fishcakes. i know this is quite unusual, especially here in the uk, where mashed potatoes and roasted potatoes are two dishes which get people very excited, often being cited in their list of favourites. i’m not a big fan of either finding mash too heavy, unless it is packed with butter and cream which can only be an occasional treat, and roast potatoes just a little bit dull (although i am partial to having them thinly sliced and made into a sandwich with roast chicken and stuffing leftovers).

potato dauphinoise is another dish which sends people into raptures and i have to confess that in this case i can see the attraction. however, i’m also very aware of how unhealthy it can be especially if made using double cream rather than a mixture of cream and milk. however, on a cold, wet grey day it can be the perfect accompaniment to a traditional roast.

delia smith does a simple recipe which is reliable and delicious (i’d expect nothing else!) but i like to add something extra – bay leaves. i love the slightly smokey flavour they add to a potato dauphinoise and really recommend you try this if you haven’t already.

bay dauphinoise* (serves 3-4 people)

450g king edward or desiree potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

4 bay leaves

salt & pepper

150ml double cream

150ml milk

25g butter

preheat the oven to 150c and butter a 20cm shallow gratin dish.

rinse the sliced potatoes in cold water to remove some of the starch. dry the potatoes in a clean tea towel and then layer them in the gratin dish, sprinkling with the garlic, salt& pepper. add the bay leaves as you layer the potatoes.

mix together the cream and milk and pour this over the potatoes. break the butter into small pieces and scatter this on the surface and bake for 90 minutes.

* based on a delia smith recipe