potatoes gratin dauphinois

Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Potato Gratin Dauphinois

From the book Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking by
Serves 6
Total Time 2½ hours


Just as every Provençal cook has his or her own way of preparing bouillabaisse, so will every Dauphiné home cook have his or her version of this most famous of all French potato gratins. On the website gratindauphinois.com, there are more than 200 recipes deemed acceptable to the residents of the Rhône-Alpes region of France, where Dauphiné is located.

In my version, thinly sliced potatoes are bathed in an egg-enriched cream and then piled into a gratin dish. A tip I learned from the website: Bake the gratin, let it stand for at least 15 minutes, and then reheat it before serving. The second heating makes the gratin taste even better.


1 garlic clove, halved
2 Tbsp. butter
cups whole milk or half-and-half
cups heavy cream
1 egg
1 cup shredded Emmenthaler, Gruyère, or Comté cheese (about 3½ ounces)
tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced, rinsed, and patted dry


  1. If you have them, place double slabs of pizza stones or food-safe quarry tiles on the upper and lower oven racks. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub the inside of a 9-by-12-inch gratin or shallow baking dish (10- to 12-cup capacity) with the garlic clove. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease the dish.
  2. Heat the milk and ¾ of the cream in a large conventional saucepan until bubbles just begin to appear around the edge of the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg lightly. Gradually whisk in the hot creamy milk in a thin stream to temper the egg. Add ¾ cup of the cheese, return to the saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, to melt the cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  4. Add the potato slices to the sauce and stir to coat. Transfer to the buttered gratin and spread out in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese on top and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Set in the oven. Raise the heat to 400 degrees and bake for 1 hour.
  5. Transfer the gratin to a wooden surface or folded towel to prevent cracking; let cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the gratin with a flat knife and brush the top of the gratin with the remaining ¾ cup heavy cream. Return the baking dish to the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the gratin finish browning in the receding heat for 30 minutes longer.


Some cooks, particularly in the Vercors near the Drôme in eastern France, make this dish differently. There the potatoes are simmered in milk — with no cream — until they are just tender but still quite firm a day in advance. They are then left to soak in the hot milk overnight. The next day the milk is drained off and the potatoes are arranged in a gratin dish, covered with cheese and butter, and baked quickly in a hot oven until golden brown.

This content is from the book Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking by Paula Wolfert.

There is 1 comment on this item
Add a comment
0% recommend this recipe
1. by magpie26 on Nov 7, 2009 at 7:57 AM PST

What a great recipe for the upcoming holidays! I have seen potato dauphinois please everyone from a down home crowd to a room full of gourmets. I’m sure that no matter how or to who you serve this dish it will be a big hit!!

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [http://www.example.com "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Dinner Guest

The gamification of cooking

Earning points

Most of the time with cooking and eating, the rules are clear.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice