The classic Gratin Dauphinois is a very popular side dish in French cooking. With some bacon and cheese it can be transformed into a simple yet delicious main dish.
When combining cheese and potatoes one immediately thinks of raclette because the traditinonal way of serving this Alpine cheese is molten over potatoes. But there is another cheese that can replace raclette because it is very similar.
Morbier comes in wheels of the same size and shape as raclette. Its distinctive feature is a layer of wood ash in the center. Traditionally this was done because this cheese was made in two steps. The fresh cheese curds made from the morning milk were covered with ash to prevent flies from snacking on it, then the curds from the evening milk were put on top. Morbier is a bit stronger in taste than raclette which is exactly why I decided to use it instead.
Ingredients (serves 2 to 3):
- 500 g waxy potatoes
- 150 g sliced morbier
- 100 g diced bacon
- 200 ml liquid cream with 30% fat
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- Salt and black pepper
- Preparation: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 45 to 60 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly. Arrange the slices in an ovenproof dish.
Mix the cream with the garlic and spices and pour it over the potatoes. Cover with the cheese slices and sprinkle with the diced bacon. Don’t bother to remove the rind from the morbier, it is edible.
Gratinate in the oven until the potatoes are soft and the cheese is nicely browned. The exact cooking time depends on the thickness of the potato slices. Serve with a side salad and a fruity white wine.