Gratin Dauphinoise

Episode 106: Special Spuds
Recipe: Gratin Dauphinoise

This dish is my version of a classic from my youth. My mother always makes her gratin exclusively with milk and tops the potatoes with grated Gruyère cheese before baking. Sometimes I use grated cheese in this dish, but other times I don’t, depending on my mood.

It is important not to rinse or soak the potatoes after slicing them. Rinsing would remove most of the starch, which is needed to thicken the mixture as it comes to a boil on top of the stove.

The gratin goes well with a salad of frisée or escarole dressed with a mustardy garlic dressing. One of the greatest treats of this dish are the leftovers, which can be enjoyed cool or at room temperature the next day.

Gratin Dauphinois

Serves 6 to 8

1 3/4 pounds potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold
2 1/2 cups milk
2–3 garlic cloves, crushed, and finely chopped (1 1/2 teaspoons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick, by hand, with a vegetable slicer, or with the slicing blade of a food processor. Do not wash the slices.

Combine the potato slices, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently to separate the slices and prevent the mixture from scorching. It will thicken as it reaches a boil.

Pour the potato mixture into a 6-cup gratin dish, and pour the cream on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Let the potatoes rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Tags: ,


  • Jack Peverill

    Classic Gratin Dauphinoise or Dauphinois(as you wish) is innocent of grated cheese. Point makes no mention of added cheese. Jacques called this a Savoyard dish in a recent program. It is not, of course. Gratin Savoyarde is made with bouillon and then creme fresh added. Savoie is not part of the Dauphine. He knows this. The non-cheese version is lighter and harder to make just right. The Gratin I had at the Pyramide, Point again< was incomparable.

  • Ray Ozyjowski

    Hey Jack, where can I find your website and recipes? I’m sorry but I’m unfamiliar with you and your credentials?

  • http://none Mike Kubisiak

    What say I add some bay scallops in the later portion of this cooking time, top with the Gruyère cheese and hit under the broiler to finish, Yes??? ENJOY!!!

  • Ralph Meyer

    We love this dish!  Thanks Jacques!  It’s delicious (as usual with your recipes!

  • lapatisserie

    I believe Ray was referring to Mr. Jack P. (above) with a high level of sarcasm, which I applaud. P.S. Jacques does not instruct anyone to add cheese, simply stating that his mother used to (and so will I!). If you saw the actual episode, he elaborates further on the fact cheese is not an ingredient of this gratin, however, and I’m paraphrasing, you won’t be sent to the guillotine if you choose to top with cheese. Lighten up, it’s food…it should be made to be pleasing to the eater, not to you.

  • Pompaws

    Made this yesterday … absolutely fabulous and extremely simple

  • J Guest

    This is a classic “old fashioned” dish.. VERY rich. The taste is not on the “WOW” side, but is great with stronger or spicier tastes alongside.. perhaps a bit on the “comfort” side. Personally I find that it needs a “dressing salt” finish and perhaps a bit more salt and pepper in the base dish. It’s good at any temp so makes good leftovers, too. Whether you add cheese or not doesn’t much change the dish IMO.. do whatever floats your boat.
    II have a real “man-crush” on Jacques.. I don’t think I’ve seen anything he does that I don’t love.. I have huge respect for the guy as both a person and a chef. I love his “mellowed old school” attitude.