sausage and potato gratinPosted: January 12, 2012
This is a comforting dinner for the miserably chilly, wet days we’re having here in the northeast at the moment – a one-dish meal of meat and potatoes that is flavorful and satisfying (though you could also have something green on the side to make this a bit healthier!). It is pretty simple to make – other than briefly boiling the potatoes and sauteeing the onions, you just throw everything into the casserole dish and throw (or gently place) the casserole dish into the oven. This is thus a great weeknight dinner option, especially if you do some of the prep work the night before to save yourself some time – chopping the onions, peeling the potatoes, or grating the cheese, for example. If you’re only cooking for a few people, it will leave plenty of leftovers, which are just as delicious reheated as when fresh out of the oven.
Sausage and Potato Gratin
A few notes on ingredients: the original recipe, another from Julia Child, says to use “uncooked Polish sausages.” I first started making this when I lived in Central Jersey with only a very sad grocery store within walking distance from my apartment – needless to say, they did not carry uncooked Polish sausages. Hence, I’ve always made this with sweet Italian sausages, which were pretty much the only kind of uncooked sausage they carried. Julia would probably disapprove of this mixture of flavors, but I happen to like it. If you can’t find Polish sausages, I think fresh garlic sausages would be fine, or you too can go with the easy-to-find Italian sausages. I have kept making the gratin with them despite now living just a few blocks away from not one but two Polish delis. Maybe next time I’ll finally make it as it was intended. If you’re concerned about the amount of cream, I think you’d be fine with the same amount of half and half or even whole milk. I happen to love heavy cream and thus gravitate towards recipes using it (as might be evident from this site!), but I realize that not everyone feels that way. I recommend Yukon Gold potatoes rather than russets, as they will keep their shape when the gratin is cooked – russets or other baking potatoes will fall apart.
Serves 4-6 people
2/3 cup minced yellow onions
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb. Yukon Gold (or comparable) potatoes, peeled and sliced horizontally
2-3 uncooked sausages (see note above), cut into thick slices
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Butter an 8×8 baking dish.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until tender but not browned.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to the boil. Salt the water well. Once the water is boiling, add the sliced potatoes and cook for 6-8 minutes, until barely done. Drain the potatoes.
In the prepared baking dish, spread half of the potatoes on the bottom. Spread half of the cooked onions over the potatoes. Place all of the uncooked sausage slices over the onions. Top the sausages with the rest of the onions, and then the rest of the potatoes.
Crack the three eggs into a medium bowl, and beat with a whisk just to break them up, about 5 seconds. While still whisking the eggs, pour in the cream. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the filled baking dish, and shake to distribute the liquid, if necessary.
Sprinkle the Gruyère over the casserole. (Julia says that the casserole may be prepared ahead of time up to this point). Bake for 30-40 minutes in the upper third of the preheated oven until the top is nicely browned. Enjoy!
Note: To reheat leftovers, I usually heat whatever portion I plan on eating in a 350F oven for about 10 minutes.
Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking