When I say Potatoes Au Gratin, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Smooth velvety melted cheese covered creamy potatoes? Or Cheesy plastic?
If you said cheesy plastic, you can relate and have eaten potatoes au gratin from a box. I’ve eaten the box kind too. My mama made them from time to time when I was growing up and I made them for myself even after I moved out and cooked meals for myself. The box potatoes are not terrible. They are really convenient and easy to fix, but no matter how hard you try, you still end up with a few potato slices that are like hard plastic and hard to chew. Blah!
As time went on, I knew that potatoes au gratin had to better than the chewy plastic potatoes from a box, so I found a basic recipe and gave it a try. I could not believe how incredibly delicious potatoes au gratin could be. Since then, I have worked on ways to improve the recipe and I want to share this recipe with you. I want you to know there is an alternative to cheesy plastic from a box.
This classic side dish comes together very easily, you don’t have to have any fancy gadgets to cut the potatoes. A knife works just as good as any gadget. Alright, there is a long 60 to 90 minute cook time, but believe me, this recipe for potatoes au gratin is well worth the wait. The tender potato slices are laced with sweet onions smothered in a creamy cheese sauce with a hint of garlic. Potatoes au gratin makes a perfect side dish for any meal.
Trust me, these ain’t those plastic box potatoes you buy in the store. They are so much better!!
This time I made two batches and left out the onions for my stepson and grandson, but if you and your family love onions, don’t leave them out! They add so much more flavor to this wonderful dish.
There are recipes where I have seen the potatoes sliced thin and placed upright into a casserole dish to makes for a very pretty presentation. I love pretty food, but it doesn’t make them taste any better.
I love cheese and I don’t think there is a way you prepare a potato that I wouldn’t eat it. Potatoes are so versatile and they are the best all-time classic side dish for that very reason.
What do you think? Comment below!
Potatoes Au Gratin
- 4 large russet potatoes sliced into ⅛-inch slices
- ½ onion thinly sliced into ⅛ to ¼-inch rings (optional, but highly recommended)
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- fresh parsley for garnish, (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.
- Add potato and onion slices to the casserole dish and toss so that they layer with each other, but lay flat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In a medium-size saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it just begins to foam. Mix in the flour and season with salt, to taste, while stirring constantly for one minute, with a wooden spoon. After one minute, stir in the milk. Switch to a whisk and continue to stir and cook until the mixture is smooth and has thickened.
- When the sauce is thick and bubbling, it should coat the back of a spoon, and leave a space when pulling your finger through the sauce. Stir in cheese and garlic powder all at once, until melted.
- Pour cheese over the potatoes and onions, and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake covered for about an hour. After 60 minutes, uncover and check for tenderness. Continue to back uncovered, until potatoes and onions are tender and the cheese sauce begins to brown around the edges, about 30 minutes.
- Remove and allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.