Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
cabrales

Potato Gratin, Fernand Point

Recommended Posts

Michael Buller's "French Chefs Cooking" contains the recipe that Bocuse recorded for F Point's "veritable gratin dauphinois" or potato gratin:

Ingredients were: 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 2.75 lbs peeled and thinly sliced (Bocuse himself recommends 12/100 of an inch thick) potatoes, 2 large eggs, 0.75 cup of whole milk, 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream or creme fraiche, pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and ground white pepper to taste, 3.5 tablespoons butter.

Preat oven to 350F. Rub the sides of a large enamelled or cast-iron oveproof dish with the garlic clove and butter liberally. Lay thin layers of potatoes on the dish. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk. Spread a thick coating of this mixture over the potatoes in the dish, adding some knobs of butter. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly brown. Open the oven door ajar and let the dish set for a few minutes. Serve very hot.

___________________

Note that F Point resisted the inclusion of cheese in his potato gratin. Buller also notes that some chefs perceive the type of potato as significant. Jean and Pierre Troisgros recomend the French BF 15 potato. Chefs also differ as to the amount of eggs: two eggs (Point and Mere Brazier), 1 egg (Escoffier), and no eggs (Troisgros, Chapel). Escoffier and Bocuse did not recommend the inclusion of cream, according to the book.

Have members made a potato gratin using the recipes of the above-described chefs? :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use the "Gratin Dauphnois Madame Laracine" recipe from Patricia Well's Bistro Cooking. You cook the potatoes in milk first before baking them in the gratin dish with the rest of the ingredients.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabrales--the Ma Gastronomie version by Point specifies 2# yellow fleshed potatoes sliced very thin, lightly salted and peppered and laid into the vessel, which has first been rubbed with garlic, sprinkled with salt and coated with butter.

The mixture is one beaten egg, 8 ounces of scalded milk and 1 T heavy cream. The "no cheese should ever be used" is in italics as well. But what comes through from reading the book is that exact amounts of things are not that important, intuition about what seems right is.

He advises to start the cooking on top of the stove and finish in a slow oven for 30-40 minutes.

This is a nice version but I have made the same Laracine gratin version from Wells Bistro book and love it as much as Steve P.

Not to change the subject, but the really, really amazing potato dish from Point & Ma Gastronomie is the "Pommes Dauphine." 10 ounces of pate a choux with 2 # of mashed potatoes, 3.5 ounces of butter and 4 yolks. Then rolled or piped into little "cork" shapes and deep fried.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The garlic puzzles me in that initial recipe. If I was just rubbing the dish with garlic, I probably wouldn't finely chop the clove first. Or does it call for the garlic crumbs to be rubbed around the dish and left there? I never use garlic in a gratin. I learnt to make the dish by watching a French friend, which also involved cutting the potatoes for her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dauphine.gif

hungry.gif

Jin,

Daupinoise and dauphine are different dishes :smile:

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cabrales,

I've made much daupinoise over the caourse of my career. It's any easy dish for either alacarte or buffet work. I use a recipe from Larousse Gastronomique. Most recipes are basically the same. Some add eggs some do not. Some include parmesan, some use all gruyere, some use 1/2 gruyere, 1/2 ementhaler. Some scald the milk some do not.

Most all have you rub the cooking vessel with bruised garlic. Mix the thinly sliced potatoes with the cheese S&P, nutmeg and scalded milk. Press into the casserole, dot with butter and bake.

I checked Pul Bocuse's French Cooking and on page 359 there is a recipe for Gratin Daupinoise and Gratin de pommes de Terre Fernand Point. The latter omits the cheese and adds creme fraiche to the milk.

Hope this helps

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is one of those classics in which it's difficult to go wrong, providing certain principles are observed. For me, a crucial factor not mentioned in any of the recipes I've seen is for the savory custard mixture to get well in between the slices. I pour some of the mixture in first, then slip in the slices of potato one at a time so that they are well separated from each other; otherwise they are likely to stick together in solid lumps which defeats having sliced the potato in the first place. [Note: Some people rinse the slices in water to remove the surface starch which makes them stick together.] If thicker slices are wanted, then pre-blanching them is desirable. The trick, I think, is for the potatos to be thoroughly cooked before the custard has overcooked, gone hard and lost its smooth creamy texture.

Indeed, yellow waxy potatoes of some variety are essential if you want them to keep their texture. Ordinary white mealy potatoes will taste ok, but will break down so completely that you might as well have puréed them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cook essentially the initial recipe with no eggs - the cream/milk combination cooks down with starch from the potato, I can't see the egg adding much.

It is very hard to screw up.

I'm with Elizabeth David on garlic applique.

Only rub the container with garlic if you're planning on eating the frigging container.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nick, you mean comme ca:

noix.jpg ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never added eggs to a potato gratin, in fact i've never heard of anyone doing it. Is this maybe an American thing?

By the end of cooking, the starch in the potato and the reduced cream/milk stick it all together and provide a bit of creamy moisture.

I wouldn't want to have layers of custard in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I got this recipe from Gourmet, but I'm not sure. It is easy and always works.

Potato Gratin

2 cups whipping cream

1 cup creme fraiche

1 large garlic, minced

3 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, very thinly sliced

1 1/3 cups Gruyere cheese (about 5 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400, Butter 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish. Bring cream, creme fraiche and garlic to boil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced potatoes, cover and cook until liquid returns to boil, about 4 minutes.

Transfer 1/4 of potato mixture to prepared dish. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add next 1/4 of potato mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add next 1/4 of potato mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add last 1/4 of potato mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover casserole and sprinkle with cheese. Continue baking until potatoes are tender,cheese melts and sauce bubbles, about 15 minutes. let stand 10 minutes and serve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've never added eggs to a potato gratin, in fact i've never heard of anyone doing it. Is this maybe an American thing?

My mother used to. Italian/Welsh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Polly--regarding the egg in a gratin as an American thing, you did read the thread, right? Bocuse, Point?

and John--maybe your observation of layering the slices and liquid in stages--and the fact that this step is not communicated in written recipes--is one of those "trucs" that chefs didn't pass along--so one could follow the recipe yet not create as good a dish as the chef would?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I checked Pul Bocuse's French Cooking and on page 359 there is a recipe for Gratin Daupinoise and Gratin de pommes de Terre Fernand Point.  The latter omits the cheese and adds creme fraiche to the milk.

Nick -- :raz: When you have a chance, please consider discussing whether the recipe in "French Cooking" is the same as the one in Buller's book (as described in the first post of this thread). :wink:

Also, what special types (if any) of potatoes do members prefer for the dish? (Steve Klc -- Note I am not aware of which potato species have yellow flesh)

lizziee -- Do you use potatoes other than russet with any frequency?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[

Ingredients were: 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 2.75 lbs peeled and thinly sliced (Bocuse himself recommends 12/100 of an inch thick) potatoes, 2 large eggs, 0.75 cup of whole milk, 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream or creme fraiche, pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and ground white pepper to taste, 3.5 tablespoons butter.

Preat oven to 350F. Rub the sides of a large enamelled or cast-iron oveproof dish with the garlic clove and butter liberally. Lay thin layers of potatoes on the dish. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk. Spread a thick coating of this mixture over the potatoes in the dish, adding some knobs of butter. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly brown. Open the oven door ajar and let the dish set for a few minutes. Serve very hot.

Here goes in my best AP style :wink: (actually Lorraine Davis') The recipe is as follows:

1 pound medium large yellow potatoes, all the same size.

2 cups milk

Salt, pepper, and nutmeg

1 egg

1/4 pound grated gruyere cheese

1 garlic clove

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Boil the milk and let it cool.

Peel and dry the potatoes; slice them thin; sprinkle with a pinch of salt, grind some pepper on top, add a dash of grated nutmeg, and mix well.  Place the potatoes in a bowl.

Beat the egg well, strain it through a fine sieve, and beat in the cooled milk, mixing both well.

Spread two-thirds of the gruyere cheese on the potatoes ans mix.   Pour the milk egg mixture over them.  The quantity of milk used should just cover the potatoes.  Mix well with a spatula; correct the seasoning.

Rub the garlic inside a deep ovenproof gratin dish, and butter it well; pour the potatoes and the milk into the dish.  The potatoes should not be deeper than 2 1/2 inches.  Fill the dish to about 3/8 inch from the top.  Carefully wipethe edges.  On top, sprinkle the remaining grated gruyere cheese and the butter cut into small pieces.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.  The mixture, which can be made richer by adding thick cream, will become thick and succulent, and form a magnificent golden crust.

I believe Yukon Gold have yellow flesh. They will also not oxidize as readily as russets.

Hope this helps

Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael Buller's "French Chefs Cooking" contains the recipe that Bocuse recorded for F Point's "veritable gratin dauphinois" or potato gratin:

Ingredients were: 1 clove finely chopped garlic, 2.75 lbs peeled and thinly sliced (Bocuse himself recommends 12/100 of an inch thick) potatoes, 2 large eggs, 0.75 cup of whole milk, 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream or creme fraiche, pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and ground white pepper to taste, 3.5 tablespoons butter.

Preat oven to 350F. Rub the sides of a large enamelled or cast-iron oveproof dish with the garlic clove and butter liberally. Lay thin layers of potatoes on the dish. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, grated nutmeg, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk. Spread a thick coating of this mixture over the potatoes in the dish, adding some knobs of butter. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly brown. Open the oven door ajar and let the dish set for a few minutes. Serve very hot.

Cabrales--the Ma Gastronomie version by Point specifies 2# yellow fleshed potatoes sliced very thin, lightly salted and peppered and laid into the vessel, which has first been rubbed with garlic, sprinkled with salt and coated with butter.

The mixture is one beaten egg, 8 ounces of scalded milk and 1 T heavy cream.  The "no cheese should ever be used" is in italics as well.  But what comes through from reading the book is that exact amounts of things are not that important, intuition about what seems right is.

He advises to start the cooking on top of the stove and finish in a slow oven for 30-40 minutes.

Here is an excerpt from F Point's Ma Gastronomie (translated and adapted by Frank Kulla and Patricia Shannon Kulla; Lyceum Books 1974), which describes the recipe summarized by Steve Klc:

Veritable Gratin Dauphinois

(True Gratin Dauphinois)

Lightly rub a heavy flameproof casserole made of porcelainized cast iron or eartenware with garlic and *sprinkle on some salt*. Coat it with butter.

Slice two pounds of *yellow-fleshed* potatoes very thin, after they have been peeled and *wiped clean but not washed*. *Salt and pepper them lightly.* Arrange the potato slices in the casserole in one thin layer.

Prepare a mixture of *one* beaten egg, eight counces of boiled *(scalded)* milk and one tablespoon of heavy cream. No cheese should ever be used. Pour this mixture over the potatoes and *dot* them with butter. *Start the cooking on top of the stove* and finish the cooking in a slow oven for thirty to forty minutes. Serve piping hot right in the cooking dish, after *dotting* the top with more butter."

Note the differences from the F Point version reported by Bocuse, as highlighted. :wink: Note, for example, the absence of nutmeg in the Ma Gastronomie recipe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To quote Steve Klc:

"Not to change the subject, but the really, really amazing potato dish from Point & Ma Gastronomie is the "Pommes Dauphine." 10 ounces of pate a choux with 2 # of mashed potatoes, 3.5 ounces of butter and 4 yolks. Then rolled or piped into little "cork" shapes and deep fried. "

Steve, you really do not mean "Mashed Potatoes", as many readers will perceive this as the finished product "Mashed Potatoes" (which include Milk, Cream, Butter etc). You mean "rised" potatoes, Yes?!

And to the shape, I believe the "cork" shaped ones are called "Lorette" and the "Quenelles" shaped ones are the real "Dauphine"?

Remember my motto : "I stand corrected"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"Pommes Dauphine."  10 ounces of pate a choux with 2 # of mashed potatoes, 3.5 ounces of butter and 4 yolks.  Then rolled or piped into little "cork" shapes and deep fried.

Here is the relevant recipe, from Ma Gastronomie:

"'The whole art of making pommes dauphine lies in the way one prepares the pate a choux.' To make the pate a choux, boil sixteen ounces of water in a thick, heavy-bottomed sauce pan with three and one-half ounces of butter, one teaspoon of sugar and one-half teaspoon of salt. As soon as the liquid is boiling rapidly, take the saucepan off the heat and pour in eleven ounces of sifted flour. Beat this mixture together thoroughly and put the pan back on the heat. Work with a wooden spoon to dry out the mixture and until the paste detaches itself from the spoon and glistens lightly. Remove it from the heat and beat in eight eggs, adding two at a time and beating after each addition."

Then, the recipe continues largely in the manner described by Steve Klc.

Peter -- Note the reference in the English translation is to two pounds of "mashed cooked potatoes". Not having any cooking skills, I cannot respond to your question. :sad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter--Interesting question.

I "suspect" what the Kullas translate as "mashed cooked potato" from Point is what in this era a chef might call "smashed" or "riced" or pushed through a strainer. I took mashed to mean just that--sieved potato mashed into a puree--not whipped, not creamed and with no add-ins--because there's butter and egg already in Point's recipe.

Escoffier, however, for his Dauphine--from the era just prior to Point--used a potato croquette mixture folded into choux--1 kg croquette mixture to 300 g (11 oz) stiff choux paste.

Escoffier's choux is stiffer and richer than Point's--1 L water, 7 oz butter, 22 oz flour and 12-14 eggs--so, 50% more flour, 50% more butter, and at least 33% more eggs than Point.

Escoffier's croquette mixture contained--you guessed it--100 g butter, 4 yolks and 1 whole egg to 1 kg of cooked potatoes.

Escoffier also floured these cork or quenelle shapes, dipped in egg, and then in breadcrumbs before deep frying.

So, Point simplified and possibly improved two steps in the process: Point uses a more delicate choux and then folds butter and yolks in at the very end. (Point is adding essentially the same amount of egg and butter that Escoffier added to his potato croquette mixture.) Point probably viewed coating the shapes in a batter overkill.

As a result, he might have made a Dauphine that seemed lighter, had more potato flavor, was easier to prepare and yet still rich.

I wonder if an even more modern variation--using creamy, whipped, mashed potatoes--would produce and even more ethereal Dauphine. I don't see anything relevant in Troigros, Senderens or Chapel but I'll poke around in some other chef's books of that next era. Anne Willan beats 45g butter and 75 ml warm milk into 750 g potatoes until fluffy--then folds into choux for her Dauphine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following is the gratin dauphinois description from Root: "Thinly sliced potatoes are moistened with boiled milk and beaten egg, seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmet, and mixed with grated *cheese, of the Gruyere type*. The potatoes are then put into an earthenware dish which has been rubbed with garlic and then buttered, spotted with little dabs of butter, and sprinkled with more grated cheese. It is then cooked slowly in not too hot an oven." :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By DanM
      One of the surprises from our move to Switzerland is the availability of kosher charcuterie. Sausages of all types, confit, mousse, rietttes, etc... One of the recent finds is this block of smoked beef. It has a nice fat layer in the middle. Any thoughts on how to use it? Should I slice it thin and then fry?
       
      Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    • By boilsover
      Long story, but I have a friend with whom I share a lust for French patisserie in general and kouign aman in particular.  We have another friend, kind of a starry chef in France.  We'd like to surprise our Parisian friend by being at least marginally competent with the kouign the next time we meet up.
       
      I had always heard of a specialty rolling pin called a Tutove (I think it's the name of the manufacturer).  It's supposed to be the Secret Weapon of puff pastry.  The idea is that the pin has grooves/ridges that better place butter into the layers of dough.
       
      So I found one (a real one, made by Tutove) on Ebay at a good price, but I need any basic tips y'all have for using it.  Anyone here use one, or have a resource for how to roll with a Tutove?
       
      Many Thanks!
    • By DanM
      I was planning on buying  jar of duck confit at the market, but I had a dimwitted moment and grabbed the confit goose gizzards instead. What should I do with them? Suggestions would be appreciated.
       
      Thanks!
       
      Dan
    • By CanadianSportsman
      Greetings,

      I've cooked several recipes from Keller's "Bouchon" the last couple of weeks, and have loved them all! At the moment (as in right this minute) I'm making the boeuf Bourguignon, and am a little confused about the red wine reduction. After reducing the wine, herbs, and veg for nearly an hour now, I'm nowhere near the consistancy of a glaze that Keller specifies. In fact, it looks mostly like the veg is on the receiving end of most of it. Is this how the recipe is meant to be? Can anybody tell me what kind of yield is expected? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, kindly. 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×