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Potato-Gruyère Gratin

Potato-Gruyère Gratin

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Potato-Gruyère GratinPotato-Gruyère Gratin    Vegetarian, Family Favorites

Marcella always makes this for Christmas and Easter dinner.

Active Time: 1 hour
Start to Finish: 2 hours


  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • cups heavy cream
  • cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes (6 or 7 medium), peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 3 slices good quality white bread, torn in large pieces
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ tsp. salt


Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 2-quart baking dish or gratin.

Place the peppercorns, garlic cloves, bay leaves, and rosemary in a square of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine to make a sachet. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the cream, milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper, and add the sachet. Bring to a simmer, and, as soon as you see bubbles beginning to form at the edges of the pan, remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 30 minutes.

While the cream mixture is steeping, make the breadcrumbs. Place the torn bread slices, the melted butter, and the ¼ teaspoon salt in a food processor and blend until the bread forms crumbs and the butter is incorporated.

After 30 minutes, remove the sachet from the saucepan and add the sliced potatoes. Simmer over medium heat (don't let the cream mixture boil) until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes. The potatoes should resist slightly when tested with a sharp knife. With a slotted spoon, place half the potatoes in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with half the Gruyère; repeat with the remaining potatoes and cheese. Pour the cream mixture over the potatoes and cheese, and top with the breadcrumbs.

Place the dish on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Bake 40-50 minutes, until the top is browned and the gratin is bubbly. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.


If you don't have cheesecloth for the sachet, you can use a coffee filter.

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recipe type

Side Dishes




8 servings




Kosher v. table salt
We always use kosher salt in our cooking because its crystals dissolve better in water than ordinary table salt. However, kosher and table salt are not equivalent when you are measuring amounts for a recipe. To further confuse matters, different types of kosher salt measure differently. If a recipe calls for table salt (or just salt), and the amounts are relatively small (e.g., one teaspoon), we simply use the amount called for in the recipe. You can always add a bit more salt to taste. If however, the recipe calls for larger amounts of salt, as would be the case, for example, in a brine, then you should convert the amount called for. Most sources cite 2 types of kosher salt as being widely available: Morton (which is what we use) and Diamond Crystal (which none of us have ever been able to find.) In any case, to convert the amount of table salt to Morton Kosher Salt, multiply the table salt by 1.5; to convert to Diamond Crystal, multiply by 2.

Just another example of why algebra really is im