All Rotten (Au Gratin) Potatoes

Au Gratin Potatoes 01

When I was growing up my mother made ham and au gratin potatoes every Easter. I don’t remember why we started calling them “all rotten potatoes”, but I still call them that to this day. My mother always made them from a box mix, so having no family recipe I decided to come up with my own. It’s not quite the same as most others because I am not quite the same as most others! So if you’re into cheesy, comforting, warm, lusciousness then you’ll definitely love me this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP softened butter, for greasing
  • 2 TBSP of softened butter
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, cold
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 8 oz shredded Colby Jack cheese (2 cups)
  • 2 pounds of starchy potatoes, peeled and rinsed
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f, use the first 1 tablespoon of the butter to liberally grease the sides of a shallow 10″ casserole dish (preferably with a lid) and sparingly grease the bottom of the dish as well.
  2. Time to whisk your brains out! Get help with this part of you’ve got weak arms…
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter is just melted add the flour and begin whisking. Whisk for 1 minute.
  4. Add one cup of the cold milk a few tablespoons at a time, while whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth before adding another few tablespoons of milk. When you’ve added one cup of milk a few tablespoons at a time, add a half cup of milk from the second cup and whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. As soon as it’s reached boiling point, add the remaining half cup of milk. Continue to whisk until the mixture reaches the boiling point again. Then whisk in the onion powder, parsley, and 1.5 cups of the shredded cheese. Continue whisking until you have a very thick smooth sauce.
  5. Peel, and rinse the potatoes. Then, slice them 1/4″ thick so they are rounds, not oblongs. Do not rinse them once you’ve sliced them and don’t slice them until just before you need them.
  6. Put a quarter of the sauce into the prepared casserole dish and smooth it into an even layer.
  7. Layer half of the potatoes into the dish, season with salt & pepper, pour over half of the remaining cheese sauce and smooth it out, then sprinkle over 1/4 cup of the remaining shredded cheese.
  8. Make a second layer the same way using the rest of the potatoes, season with salt & pepper, use the rest of the cheese sauce and sprinkling over the rest of the shredded cheese.
  9. Cover with the lid or a bit of kitchen foil making sure that neither the lid or the foil touches the food.
  10. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Then, remove the lid/foil and bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are very soft and the top is browned to your liking.
  11. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 Servings – Easily doubled or halved

Notes

  • I sometimes use a 1.5 sharp cheddar to .5 mozzarella mixture instead of Colby Jack. I also sometimes add a tiny bit of crushed up dried rosemary to the sauce.
  • I have sliced the potatoes by hand before, but a mandolin makes it a lot easier.
  • If you think the cheese sauce is too thick, you can add another cup of milk to the “whisking in the second cup of milk one half cup at a time” stage of this recipe. I personally like the sauce really thick.

Au Gratin Potatoes 02