How divine is this Stephanie Alexander variation? So much so, that there is nothing I can think of serving with it that I would eat in preference. You can have the meat, the lot. If I might just be left alone with this dish and, no thank you, I don’t want sex, yes I know I said I’d never say I don’t want sex, but for the next ten minutes there is only this particular dish and me.
You can do that if you like…
As long as I can keep eating. Ooohhhhh.
The potatoes. While you……..mmmmmmmmm.
2-3 large potatoes (about 600-700 grams total) – waxy/starchy variety
Butter both to butter the dish and to dot in tiny cubes over the top of the dish before putting in the oven.
garlic, finely sliced
300 mls of milk heating to just below boiling
300 mls of cream FULL FAT is not preferable but essential. It is what stops that horrible split, curdled looking gratin that everybody else makes.
1 teaspoon of plain flour
Salt and pepper.
Peel and slice the potatoes fairly thinly, so as not to fall apart when cooking. Butter a deep baking dish, this is not a dish that likes to be squished into a small area. Place a layer of potato, then a little garlic, nutmeg and freshly ground pepper. Salt to taste. Add the spoonful of flour to the cream, perhaps just a little of the cream to begin with, smooth any lumpiness, add the rest of the cream and then the hot milk to the cream, stirring to mix thoroughly.
Gently pour this mixture over the potatoes. As already mentioned, there should be some space between this and the top of your dish or mess will ensue. Dot with the tiny cubes of butter. Put on lowish heat, certainly no more than 180C. You might want to lower the heat as you go along. This needs to cook SLOWLY, and as long as you cook it slowly, it puts up with a lot of cooking, I’ve kept it in the oven a good hour longer than I needed to, with no issue. It will need at least an hour.
NB note to self: I find for 4 smallish potatoes that 150ml milk plus a couple of dollops of cream, or a little more than this is about right.