Vickie’s Potatoes Au Gratin
A simple way to spruce up your dinner table for the holidays. This is an easy recipe to make, though it does take some time to bake. It’s well worth it.
I found this recipe in a box at my Grandmother’s house. It was a clipping from the local paper, with hand written notes next to some of the ingredients and directions. I’m pretty sure those notes were made by my Maw. In our family, we called her Maw Stoots. I’ve made my own little tweaks to the recipe to fit my families tastes. I hope you like it.
Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Bake time: 1 to 1.5 hours
- 4 large potatoes
- ¼ c margarine or butter
- 1 tblspn margarine
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 1½ tblspn flour
- 1 tspn salt
- ¼ tspn pepper
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded natural sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
- Sprinkle of Paprika
- Peal and cut potatoes into ¼ inch round slices.
- Place slices into a large pot and completely cover with water.
– Add 1 tblspn margarine and a dash of salt.
- Cook over medium heat for about 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Preheat oven to 375° F
- Meanwhile, melt the ¼ cup margarine in a deep dish skillet over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion and stir. Saute the onions for about 3 minutes, or until tender.
- Sprinkle in flour, salt and pepper, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in milk and 1½ cup of shredded cheese.
– Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Make sure the cheese is melted into the mixture before removing from heat.
- Once the potatoes are tender, drain them and spread them in an ungreased casserole dish.
- Pour milk/cheese sauce over the potatoes.
– Using a fork, gently lift the potato slices slightly to allow the sauce to seep between the layers.
- Cover with aluminum foil or a casserole glass top.
- Place the dish in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
- Mix remaining cheese and bread crumbs together. Set the crumb mix aside while casserole bakes.
- After 1 hour, remove the casserole from the oven and take off the cover.
- Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over baked potatoes.
– Do not replace the cover.
– Place the casserole dish back in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until top is lightly brown and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and evenly sprinkle the top with a dash of paprika for decoration.
- There are a lot of things you can to this mix. Try sauteing mushrooms with the onions.
- Or add ½ cup of chopped broccoli or diced tomatoes to the milk/cheese mixture just before covering the potatoes.
- Be creative to suit your families traditional tastes.
- Serve hot.
- If your potatoes are not tender, it simply means they have not been cooked long enough. You can boil them longer, and check on them 10 minutes at a time, until they are done. If you have already combined the potato slices with the gravy mix, cover the dish with aluminum and return them to the oven. Again check on them every 10 minutes to determine their tenderness, and to ensure they are not burning.
- The gravy is too thick or thin:
If it’s too thick, add 1 tablespoon of milk and stir the gravy. Continue adding 1 tablespoon of milk until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.
If it’s too thin, add ½ tablespoon of flour and thoroughly mix it into the mixture. Give the mix about 3 minutes to thicken. If that doesn’t correct the issue, add another ½ tablespoon and repeat this process. Don’t be impatient, it’s easy to go from too thin to too thick. Give each addition of flour a little time to do its job, before you add more.