Potato dauphinoise (a.k.a scalloped potatoes, au gratin potatoes) is a perfect cold-rainy-weather, i.e. Irish-weather, dish. Cream, garlic, spuds, an interior that stays mouth-searingly molten like the sun for ages–what’s not to love? Well, it’s not exactly January post-holiday detox food so I thought I’d make it a bit less guilt-ridden by using some sweet potato, too. Mature Gubbeen cheese is fantastic with potatoes of all kinds so a light sprinkling goes on top.
The sweet earthiness of the sweet potato helps to cut through all the richness of the cream and cheese. It also adds loads of vitamin A and other good stuff. Cooking the potato mixture a bit on the hob before baking cuts down on the total cooking time and also helps it to cook more evenly. We had this as a main with a side of simply-cooked green lentils (River Cottage Veg Everyday, pp. 237) and a baby spinach and rocket salad.
Sweet Potato Dauphinoise
Inspired by River Cottage Veg Everyday
Serves 4 as a main
Per serving: 418 Calories, 19g fat, 6.9g fiber, 13.2g protein
30g of butter
500g floury potato
500g sweet potato
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves only
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
100g mature Gubbeen cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Rub an 8x8x2″ square baking dish liberally with the butter. Peel and very thinly slice the potatoes and sweet potatoes. To a large saucepan add the potatoes, cream, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and nutmeg. Place on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for about five minutes or until the cream starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned and bubbling. Top with grated cheese, increase heat to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and bake for another 5-10 minutes to melt and brown the cheese. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
- For a more traditional dauphinoise leave out the sweet potatoes and use 1 kg of floury potatoes.
- Substitute double cream or whole milk for the cream depending on your mood.
- Use a different cheese. Glebe Brethan (or Gruyère or Comté ) would be great. So would a blue cheese like Cashel or Crozier.