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Classic Potatoes Au Gratin


Classic Potatoes Au Gratin

Potatoes Au Gratin

Photo © Molly Watson

Classic Potatoes Au Gratin nap sliced potatoes in a rich cheesy sauce, baked to tender, brown, bubbling perfection. They are one of those things that's worth the effort of making yourself.

Note: These reheat beautifully but, like all potato dishes, doesn't freeze well at all.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: About 10 servings


  • 4 lbs. potatoes (Russets or Yukon Golds)
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional), minced
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 and liberally butter a 9 x 13 baking dish with about a tablespoon of the butter.
  2. Scrub potatoes clean and peel, if you like. Slice potatoes evenly (a mandoline is useful for this but a sharp knife and a steady hand work work well, too) and set aside.
  3. Melt the remaining butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Once butter has melted and stopped foaming, sprinkle in the flour and whisk until a smooth paste forms. Keep cooking and whisking until the flour is cooked, this should take 2 to 3 minutes and the mixture will start to smell like baked pie crust.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk and then the cream. Whisk in garlic, pepper, and cayenne. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, whisking, until mixture thickens. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Layer about half the potatoes into the dish and cover with half of the sauce. Layer in the other half of the potatoes and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until bubbling and browning, about 25 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.

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