We spent this Christmas, as the last three Christmases, with our good friends and their marvelous family. We wanted to share one of our favorite dishes for the sumptuous table. Our favorite go-with for Prime Rib Roast is Potato and Leak Au Gratin, a Matha Stewart Living entry from several years back. I knew that the amount that I cooked wouldn’t go around, if it was a hit. When my wife went to clean the French porcelin gratin dish it had been scraped clean, except for the bubbly dark brown residue that forms along the sides of the dish. Everyone wanted the recipe. I want to share it with them, but I also want to share it with you, so here goes.
Serves 6 to 8
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish; 2 Leeks trimmed, thinly sliced and rinsed,(about one cup); 6 Russet Potatoes (about 2.5Lbs.) peeled and thinly sliced; 1/2 Tsp coarse salt; 1/8 Tsp freshly grated nutmeg; Fresh ground pepper to taste; 8 ounces Gruyère cheese shredded (about 3 cups); 1 cup Heavy Cream; 1 cup low-sodium ChickenStock.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 12 cup baking dish or gratin dish. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add Leeks, and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in dish, slightly overlapping the slices in a spiral. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the salt-pepper-nutmeg mixture, followed by 1/2 of the sauteed Leeks and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat second layer. Top that with third layer of remaining potatoes in a spiral. Sprinkle on remaining cheese. Combine cream and stock, carefully pour over cheese and potatoes. Cover with foil. (Mixture can be refrigerated over night if necessary.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 425°, uncover, and cook until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender, about, 45 minutes. Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.
- When peeling the potatoes, keep the slices in a deep water bowl to keep them from turning brown. Shake extra water off before placing in the gratin dish. I always have left over slices. Try to purchase medium large tubular shaped russets, for consistantly round slices.
- DON’T forget the nutmeg-salt-pepper mixture on the first and second layers.
- Don’t be afraid to use more cheese than the recipe calls for, especially on the top layer.
From Martha Stewart Living