As the evenings close in and the temperature cools, our favourite food season is upon is. That means long walks on a Sunday, returning to hearty fare of roasts and stews, of game and mushrooms, all the comforting, warming food that we’ve come to associate with the turning of the leaves.
It’s the perfect time to try chef Pierre Koffmann’s potato gratin, as shared by his protégé, Michelin-star chef Tom Kitchin. This is the perfect accompaniment to any autumn dish, Sunday roast, rich and hearty stew, beef bourguignon or any kind of game. It's so warm and comforting, you’ll have to cancel any plans for the afternoon, as you’ll need to spend the rest of the day with your feet up, beside an open fire, drifting in and out of sleep.
Kitchin writes that the trick to Koffmann’s potato gratin is to slice the potatoes really thinly. They then need to be salted and squeezed to remove excess starch. Cooking in the oven on low heat develops the flavours and provides the beautiful golden top.
8 x Large potatoes
Freshly ground black pepper
500ml x Whipping cream
Nutmeg, freshly grated
10 g Butter
1 x Garlic clove, halved
Heat the oven to 140°C. Peel the potatoes, cut into wafer-thin slices and place in a colander to drain. Sprinkle with salt and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the cream to just below the boil in a deep pan on a low heat, stirring all the time. Season with salt and pepper and grate a little nutmeg.
Take a large, shallow, oven-proof dish and grease with the butter, cut the garlic clove in half and rub it into the butter.
Take fistfuls of the potato slices, squeeze to get out any remaining liquid, and layer them in the greased dish. Slowly pour over the cream to cover the potatoes so they are just covered.
Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, check the potatoes are cooked through by inserting a knife. Serve piping hot.