Potatoes Savoyarde: A Classic Gratin

Potatoes gratin

Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
359 Calories
16g Fat
38g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 359
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 661mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 19mg 95%
Calcium 423mg 33%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 1033mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Potatoes Savoyarde is a classical French side dish that is similar to both a gratin, which is any dish topped with cheese and/or buttered breadcrumbs, and scalloped potatoes—but in this case, the cream is replaced with broth. This potato dish originated in Savoy, high in the French Alps, hence its name. To make, thinly sliced potatoes are layered with seasonings, garlic, and cheese, and then a hot broth—traditionally beef broth—is poured into the sides of the dish providing moisture and flavor, and a lighter version of what can be a rich, heavy dish.

It is best to slice the potatoes thinly so they become nice and tender as they cook. The ideal tool for this is a mandoline, which is essentially a sharp blade fitted into a flat surface on which you slide the food back and forth; it's important that you use a mandoline with a holder for the food, or exercise extreme caution when slicing.

As you may guess, the cheese used in this recipe is Swiss, but instead of grabbing that hunk of American Swiss cheese, which is often mild-tasing and waxy, use either Gruyere or Emmentaler. The broth in potatoes Savoyarde is most often beef but you can use chicken broth if you like; it is also added to the dish hot, so make sure to bring it to a boil first.

Potatoes Savoyarde is the perfect accompaniment for any meat or fowl prepared in almost any way. Try it with beef daube, smoked salmon, and veal saltimbocca. Thyme gives this dish a wonderful earthy note, but feel free to vary the herb to more closely complement whichever main dish or other side dishes you choose.

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, for greasing dish

  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, or Emmentaler cheese

  • 1/4 cup hot beef stock, or chicken stock

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 F and butter a casserole or soufflé dish that is 6- to 7-inches in diameter.

  2. Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the dish.

  3. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, 1/3 of the garlic, 1/3 of the thyme, and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat the process for two more layers.

  4. Add the hot beef or chicken stock, slowly pouring in along the edge of the baking dish to avoid disturbing the layers.

  5. Cover snugly with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking for 20 minutes until browned.

  6. Serve hot and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • If you use vegetable stock in place of the beef or chicken stock, this would serve nicely as a vegetarian main course but, because of the cheese, it’s not for vegans.
  • For carnivores, turn this into a main course by adding ham or bacon.