If I *had* to choose one cuisine to eat for the rest of my days, I’d probably go French. Steak. Frites. Casserole. Coq au Vin. Boeuf bourguignon. Bread. Croissants. All of the pastries. Cheese. Red wine. Quiche. Creme brûlée. Macarons. Madeleines. Soufflé. Tarte Tatin. Pâté. Jambon. Raclette. Sorry, I got a bit caught up there…
This week I dabbled with duck legs (which you can read more about here), and feeling a little French about it, I wanted to team it with some rich, salty and soft potatoes. My go-to is dauphinoise (oh GOD), but having already consumed about a gallon of cream at the weekend in Nigella’s No-Churn Salted Caramel and Whisky Ice Cream, I wanted something a bit lighter. Enter, Potatoes Boulangeres. This side dish takes me right back to our trip to Paris, where I had the best boeuf bourguignon of my life, accompanied by the infamous potato dish at a little place called Chez Papa.
Potatoes Boulangeres is really simple to make and pretty cheap too. It’s also a bit of a no-brainer that will go with most dishes because there are no overpowering flavours. Because I was teaming mine with quite a strong and sweet duck sauce, I opted for vegetable stock but if you’re going for something a bit plainer or perhaps something chicken-based I’d definitely recommend using chicken stock. Even better, any leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
4 large potatoes
1 large onion
Fresh rosemary (a sprig or two will do)
300ml vegetable stock
Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly, then do the same with the onions ensuring they’re even skinnier than the potatoes.
Layer the bottom of a casserole dish or loaf tin with potato slices, ensuring the edges of each slice overlap with another slice. Then sprinkle the onion, a pinch of salt and pepper and a little rosemary over it.
From there it’s just a case of repeating each layer until you reach the top of the dish or run out. The final layer should be potato and I try to save the smallest and thinnest slices for this and make sure they’re really sticking out so they catch in the oven.
Mix the stock and milk together and carefully pour over the potatoes, then sprinkle the remainder of salt, pepper, and rosemary over the top. If you’re feeling extra extravagant (of course you are!), scatter a few slithers of butter over the top.
Bake at 150 for an hour, making sure to check half way through to ensure the top layer isn’t burning and then serve.
Looking for Potatoes Boulangeres companions? Try the duck leg recipe I mentioned above, or why not go for something a little more traditional like my lemon and garlic roast chicken or this beef stew with horseradish dumplings.