This is a great switch up from the normal potato casserole. The beer cooked in this gets so sweet and almost wine like. With cream, not cheese, it’s not overly rich but super satisfying this time of year.
Simple as can be, just layer potatoes and onions and pour 12oz of beer over it. Lager works well, it’s light and smooth. I used a home brew lager that Joel made, but any lager beer will work.
Ready for the oven: I have to tell you something though. The first time I made this it was so not good. It was bitter! We couldn’t figure out why. I used yukon gold potatoes, but they had been in the cellar for a little while. I didn’t know potatoes could get bitter. We didn’t get sick or anything, but we couldn’t eat it. So this is casserole #2. Lesson learned: yukon golds are best fresh. I’m so glad I tried again, I knew that potatoes and beer couldn’t be bad together! Sometimes when you make a dish that fails, it’s not you. It’s your ingredients. Comforting in a funny way, yes?
So one other thing about these potatoes: sometimes during this time of year, they are not always dry enough to soak up all the liquid. So if it looks like there is a lot of liquid left in the dish before you add the cream, just spoon some of it out.
This dish is also best if you let it sit for about 10 minutes, which I prefer anyways. I find it less stressful to get the rest of dinner on the table if I know the casserole can just wait a hot minute and it will be even better. Whenever I hear “let this sit 10 minutes” I just think, thank God, I don’t have to try to serve this boiling hot and it won’t collapse or something! I mean, cooking dinner is hard enough sometimes. Plus it’s a minute to pour a glass of wine (or beer)!
This recipe is from One Potato Two Potato by Roy Finamore with Molly Stevens
- 1 large onion, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- coarse salt and pepper
- 1 (12 oz) bottle lager beer
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
- Layer a few onion slices in the bottom of the baking dish, and then alternate layers of potato and onion, seasoning with salt and pepper on each layer, ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour the beer over the top and dot the surface with butter.
- Put the dish in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 375 and bake for 40 minutes more, or until the potatoes are tender and the surface has begun to brown. Pour the cream over the surface and bake for another 10 minutes. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes. It’s best served warm, not hot.
- Note: Late season (March through June) potatoes are often not dry or “thirsty” enough to soak up all the beer. If it looks like the gratin is still very liquid, spoon out some of the beer before adding the cream, or the final result will be too soupy (though still thoroughly delicious).