Potatoes au gratin is a delicious dish but few people can prepare it properly. It’s a fancy dish with a fancy name that can be hard to pronounce (the correct pronunciation is oh grah ton) but one that is sure to please the entire family at dinner. You might be thinking that preparing potatoes au gratin is not in your skill set but you would be wrong. Thanks to that most wonderful of kitchen tools, the slow cooker, making these tasty spuds is easier than ever.
Always remember that the freshest ingredients produce the tastiest dishes. If you take the time to use the ingredients as listed your dish will taste fantastic. You will need:
5-7 medium sized potatoes. Be sure to wash them well and then peel them.
A dash of salt.
A dash of pepper.
3 tablespoons of white flour.
3 tablespoons of real butter.
1 fresh clove of garlic. You’ll need to peel and mince it. Don’t use the bottled stuff!
1 yellow onion. Choose a good medium-sized one, peel it, and slice.
1 cup of whole milk. This is a luxurious dish; skim milk won’t do the trick.
1 cup of shredded cheddar. Again, buy fresh cheddar and shred it yourself for best results!
Chives. Use as much or as little as your taste buds prefer!
After you have washed and peeled your potatoes (always wash before and after!) you’ll want to slice them into discs that are about the thickness of two silver dollars stacked together. For the mathematically inclined that is about half a centimeter thick.
The next step is to line the bottom of your slow cooker with these potato discs and add salt and pepper to taste or to your specific dietary restrictions. Then, add another layer and season again. Just keep repeating this process until all of your potatoes are in the slow cooker.
Use a small pan to melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted you’ll add in the flour a little at a time. Stir it with a whisk as you add it in. Soon, the consistency will become doughy and thick. When it does, add in the garlic and onions and stir well. Finally, gradually pour in the milk to complete the roux for your potatoes. The final step is to stir in the shredded cheese a little at a time until it mixes well with the roux. Don’t worry if some of the cheese lumps together.
Take your roux and pour it into the slow cooker atop the layers of potatoes. Make sure you cover the potatoes evenly and get every last bit of sauce from the pot. Set your slow cooker on high and cook for three hours. At the three-hour mark you’ll want to start checking the potatoes every fifteen minutes or so for tenderness. When you can insert a fork through them with ease the dish is done. All that remains is to garnish it with chives.
It helps to become familiar with your own slow cooker. Some cookers might not require the entire three hours to cook the dish. Once you have made potatoes au gratin this way the first time, make a note of how long the process took and repeat that cooking time when you make them again.