If you are looking for a change these French potatoes boulangère are easy to make in advance for a crowd. Tender on the inside with a crispy topping, these layered scalloped potatoes are always a hit.
What if I said that there are only 4 main ingredients, no precooking and no tending to, once they are in the oven?
Perfect right? You don't even need to peel the potatoes if you don't want to.
Oh, and they're only 68 calories a portion, so you can fill your boots...
What are the ingredients?
For best results use a floury potato like a maris piper, russet or King Edward. If you don't have these potatoes use whatever you have. This dish is meant to be a meant to be a frugal and simple dish with ingredients you already have.
You will also need onions, vegetable or chicken stock and butter and seasoning to taste. It's absolutely fine to use a stock cube dissolved in boiling water for this potatoe bake.
How to make Potatoes Boulangère
First peel the potatoes, if you want to, or just give the skins a scrub if you can't face it! Use a mandoline or food processor to slice the potatoes thinly or do it by hand. I prefer to use a food processor for this.
Peel the onions and slice thinly.
If you have some fresh herbs chop a couple of tablespoons.
Herbs that work well for this potato bake are thyme, rosemary, oregano and parsley. You could also use dried herbs too, but avoid dried thyme if you can.
All brands of dried thyme that I've tried seem to be tough and woody so if you find a good one let me know please!
My dish is 30 x 20 x 5.You can use something slightly smaller but make sure it's not too shallow, as you will be adding stock to it.
Use some of the butter to grease the dish and arrange about a third of the potatoes. Pour over a third of the hot stock.
Sprinkle over half of the onions, herbs if using and season with salt and pepper.
Add the next third of potatoes and stock, the remaining onions, some herbs and seasoning.
Finish with the last of the potatoes, stock and seasoning.
Divide the butter into pieces and dot over the potatoes.
This potato bake needs about an hour at 200 C, 200 F, 180 FAN or Gas 6.
While it's cooking you don't need to check on it, cover it or do anything with it, giving you time to get on with something else.
When this comes out of the oven the potatoes will be perfectly cooked on the bottom and the top will look like potato crisps, (or chips).
Scatter on a few herbs to serve if you like and dig in!
Let me know if you make this dish. I would love to know what you think so drop me a line in the comments.
You could use sweet potatoes, parsnips or even celeriac. Any starchy vegetables cooks really well using this method.
Absolutely. You could make this the day before and leave it in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before cooking and add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
I cannot find the original source but, as boulangerie is French for the bakers, it is said that people would take dishes to the bakers to cook when they did not have their own ovens. This is quite a frugal, basic dish, so this would make sense when most people would have only had a fire and cooking pot.
If you have any more information please let me know.
French potato dishes to try
- 1 kg potatoes maris piper
- 2 small onions sliced
- 400 ml stock from a cube ir canned
- 40 g butter
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme or other herbs
- Peel and slice the potatoes thinly, by hand or by using a mandoline or food processor.
- Use a little of the butter to grease a dish around 30 x 20 x 5cm.
- Arrange about a third of the potatoes in the bottom of the dish and pour over a third of the hot stock.
- Sprinkle over half of the onions, herbs if using and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the next third of potatoes and stock, the remaining onions, some herbs and seasoning.
- Finish with the last of the potatoes, stock and seasoning.
- Divide the butter into pieces and dot over the potatoes and bake for an hour at 200 C, 200 F, 180 FAN or Gas 6.
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