Certainly a dish in it’s own right, a creamy gratin is a delicious classic that’s indulgent in flavour. Pair it with a nice glass of vino and you’ve got yourself the ultimate comfort food. As a side dish for the Christmas feast, gratin will definitely wow your dining compatriots. I choose celeriac as one of the main ingredients to help balance out the heaviness of the potatoes and to keep it on a healthy level. By all means, you can do this recipe with just potatoes, but the addition of celeriac will not disappoint.
– 1 celeriac
– 3 large white potatoes
– 1/2 a peeled onion
– 2 bay leaves
– 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
– 250ml of double cream
– 350ml of full fat milk
– 2 teaspoons of English mustard
– 1 whole nutmeg
– Sea salt and cracked black pepper
– Parmesan cheese
– Butter to grease
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare a rectangular baking dish by greasing it with a knob of butter. The dish should be roughly 30cm x 20cm and about 6cm deep – a dish that is good for layering.
2. Peel and thinly slice the potato and celeriac. If you have a mandoline, it will come in very useful for this recipe. If slicing with a knife, cut the slices to about 1cm thick.
3. Next, place all the cream and milk into a large saucepan. Add in the onion half, the thyme sprigs, the bay leaves and the mustard. Press down on all the garlic cloves with a knife so that they open slightly, then peel off their skins and add them to the pot.
4. Start grating the whole nutmeg over the creamy mixture, and give everything a quick stir before switching on the heat.
5. Start bringing all the ingredients to the boil, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Add all the celeriac and potato slices to the pot and swirl the mixture around. The creamy mixture won’t entirely cover all the slices, so put the lid on and switch it to a medium heat, allowing the steam to slightly cook them for about 2-3 minutes.
6. Using a spoon or tongs, start lifting out the potato and celeriac slices and start creating layers – seasoning each layer with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I like to do one layer potato and one layer celeriac. Once the layers are complete strain the creamy sauce through a sieve into a pot or large bowl (removing the bay leaves etc.) and pour the entire sauce over the dish.
7. Last but not least, grate a layer of parmesan (about 40-50g) over the top of the dish.
8. Finally, loosely place a piece of tinfoil over the top of the dish – and allow to bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tinfoil after the 30 minutes and allow the gratin to bake for another 20 minutes uncovered. The top should be bubbling and crispy brown before serving.
I’m an Irish food blogger from Donegal, and I am obsessed with food – and in particular, clean & healthy eating. I’ve been experimenting with food since my school days, and I am continuously developing and adapting recipes to keep my body happy and healthy. I always try to make my recipes adaptable – to help suit a wide variety of eaters, so I like to think there’s something for everyone here. I hope that my blog A Thyme to Eat may inspire and bring a little culinary delight to your table. You can also find me on Twitter. Happy Feasting!