Creamy Garlic Potatoes Au Gratin

Our holiday dinner tables are never complete without a rich and cheesy potato dish. When I really want to impress, I break out this recipe for Creamy Garlic Potatoes Au Gratin. It is rich. It is creamy. It is garlicky. And it is always completely gone by the end of the meal. In fact, I have been known to make a second dish that I stash away to eat with leftover ham or turkey over the few leftover days after a big holiday meal.

When you look this recipe over, you’ll see why it is not an every day dish! Creamy Garlic Potatoes Au Gratin does not skimp on butter or heavy cream. It is also not an inexpensive dish to make. Where I live, Yukon Gold potatoes always cost a little more than other kinds of potatoes. Gruyere cheese is also not an inexpensive cheese, and this recipe calls for 2 cups grated.

Gruyere is basically irreplacable in this dish in my opnion. It melts beautifully and it packs a lot of rich flavor. I have included a list of possible cheese substitutions, but if you possibly can, get some Gruyere. If you must substitute, substitute with another good quality aged cheese that will also bring a good, strong flavor to the dish. A medium Cheddar or Colby just isn’t going to cut the mustard with this one.

Sliced, raw Yukon Gold potatoes.

Slicing the potatoes for this dish can be a bit tedious. I like to use a mandolin slicer. Some food processors have slicer attachments that will slice your potatoes for you. If you have such a wondrous thing, a recipe like this is a good time to use it! Don’t panic if you have to slice the potatoes by hand, it certainly can be done. In my experiences, the sliced should be about 1/8” thick. Too thin and they’ll fall apart when you boil them, but much thicker and you’ll need to bake the dish for much longer than the time listed in the recipe. If your slices aren’t all exactly the same thickness, that’s just fine — it will taste good regardless — the only concern is how long it takes to cook.

Creamy Garlic Potatoes Au Gratin

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated

  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

  • salt & pepper

Directions

  • Grease 9×13 baking dish or large casserole dish with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
  • Peel potatoes and slice in thin rounds.
  • Place sliced potatoes in large pot. Cover potatoes with cold, salted water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, simmer about 5 minutes, or until potatoes are just fork tender but still firm and not falling apart. Remove pot from heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over low heat. Once melted, add minced garlic. Heat garlic in butter for 30-60 seconds. Do not allow garlic to brown. Add milk, heavy cream, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Raise heat to medium-low and bring mixture to very low, small bubble simmer. Simmer 3 minutes, stirring and watching carefully not to boil or scorch. Remove from heat, set aside.
  • Assemble dish: arrange approximately 1/3 of cooked potato slices in a single, overlapping layer on bottom of prepared baking dish. Season layer lightly with salt & pepper to taste; pour 1/3 of heavy cream mixture over layer; sprinkle 1/3 of grated Gruyere cheese evenly over layer. Repeat with two more layers of potatoes, salt & pepper, heavy cream mixture, and cheese.
  • Cover dish with aluminum foil greased with butter or cooking spray so cheese doesn’t stick. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 20 minutes, or until top is bubbling golden brown. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • This recipe calls for heavy cream or heavy whipping cream. Substitution of half and half or milk is not recommended.
  • Whole milk may be substituted for an additional 1/2 cup heavy cream for a richer dish.
  • Garlic may be substituted with 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder.
  • Gruyere cheese may be substituted with Emmental, Raclette, sharp Cheddar, Provolone, Gouda, Fontina. Flavor profile will change. Mild or processed cheeses are not recommended.
  • Red potatoes or white potatoes can be substituted for Yukon Gold, but flavor and texture will change a bit.
Assembling Creamy Garlic Potatoes Au Gratin.

Potatoes, milk, and cream can be a bit bland on their own, so seasoning with salt and pepper is crucial to developing flavor. Be sure to add the full teaspoon of salt to the cream mixture. When a dish is well-seasoned with salt, it shouldn’t taste salty, it should just taste like whatever it is, but more so. I also recommend sprinkling a little salt and pepper on each layer of potatoes just to make sure you turn out a flavorful, delicious dish.

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