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Pioneer Woman’s potatoes au gratin

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When it comes to comforting, homestyle recipes, few can match the rustic charm and soul-satisfying goodness of Pioneer Woman’s Potatoes Au Gratin. This classic dish, straight from the heart of Ree Drummond’s kitchen, is a celebration of simple ingredients and wholesome flavors. Whether you’re hosting a family dinner or craving a hearty side to accompany your main course, these Potatoes Au Gratin are sure to bring warmth and joy to your table.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). This ensures a perfectly baked and golden brown casserole.
  2. Prepare the Potatoes: Peel and thinly slice the russet potatoes. A mandoline slicer works well to achieve uniform thickness. Place the sliced potatoes in cold water to prevent browning.
  3. Sauté the Onion: In a skillet over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté until translucent and fragrant.
  4. Layering the Casserole: In a buttered baking dish, start with a layer of thinly sliced potatoes, followed by a sprinkle of both cheddar and Gruyere cheese. Continue layering until all the potatoes are used, finishing with a generous layer of cheese on top.
  5. Prepare the Cream Mixture: In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it’s warm but not boiling. This infuses the cream with the flavors of garlic and seasonings.
  6. Pour Over the Potatoes: Carefully pour the warm cream mixture over the layered potatoes and cheese. Ensure that the liquid is distributed evenly, allowing it to seep through the layers.
  7. Bake to Perfection: Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown, and the potatoes are tender.
  8. Garnish and Serve: Once out of the oven, let the Potatoes Au Gratin rest for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired. Serve warm, and watch as your guests savor every comforting bite.

Cook Notes:

  • Cheese Combination: The combination of sharp cheddar and Gruyere brings a perfect balance of flavors—creamy, nutty, and slightly tangy.
  • Potato Thickness: Ensuring uniform thickness in potato slices ensures even cooking throughout the casserole.

Variations:

Bacon Lover’s Twist: For an extra layer of indulgence, sprinkle cooked and crumbled bacon between the layers of potatoes and cheese. The smoky, savory notes add a delightful contrast.

Herb Infusion: Experiment with different herbs like rosemary or thyme in the cream mixture to add a fragrant herbal touch to your Potatoes Au Gratin.

Keto Version:

To make this recipe keto-friendly, substitute the russet potatoes with cauliflower slices. Adjust the baking time as needed, as cauliflower cooks faster than potatoes.

Low Carb Version:

For a lower-carb option, use a combination of turnips and cauliflower in place of potatoes. The turnips add a subtle sweetness, while cauliflower maintains the creamy texture.

Pioneer Woman’s Potatoes Au Gratin is more than just a side dish—it’s a comforting journey to the heart of homestyle cooking. This recipe, with its layers of potatoes, cheese, and creamy goodness, captures the essence of a hearty, wholesome meal. Whether you follow the classic version or experiment with keto or low-carb adaptations, this dish is bound to become a cherished favorite at your table. Prepare to be transported to the heart of the homestead with every bite of this soul-warming delight!

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