One of our traditional Christmas Eve dishes is potato dauphinoise. What’s not to love? Cream and potatoes, lovingly roasted until they are as soft as a pillow on your fork. (If you’re curious, I use this recipe from Nigel Slater. Works like a dream every time.) The only downside is it’s a very rich dish. So rich, in fact, that it’s one of our Christmas treats. Goodness knows I could eat it all the time, but I know that wouldn’t be prudent. So we save it as a special treat.
But along comes Ed Smith and these boulangère potatoes. Just like potato dauphinoise, but without the richness of the cream. The rest of the method is nearly identical, save for using chicken stock instead of cream.
What a result. Absolutely delicious. One caveat though: this is very much a “make only when you have a few hours” [read: the weekend] dish. Once you get through slicing 1.5 kilograms of potatoes really thinly– we use either the food processor the mandoline, depending on who’s doing the slicing– you then have to bake it for more than hour. So it takes some time and love. But it’s totally worth it.
Ed’s top tip is to return to the oven throughout baking and pushing down the potatoes with a fish slice (or a spatula would work too), which leads to the layers being deliciously compact and all the more soft.
Highly recommended. And not just for Christmas Eve.