I adore the holidays - especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm not gonna lie, the food is a big part of why. And, of course, family too! Last year was a big year because we were finally living in Tennessee. We had actually just moved into our house right before Thanksgiving. Nick had not had a Thanksgiving with family since before he joined the army in 2006. We loved our military family Thanksgivings (don't get me wrong!), but it was really special last year to be home to spend the holidays with our family.
I love to plan out what foods to make and love to take risks to make new foods. Last year, I decided to make this recipe for Thanksgiving. The last few years I have made the turkey (even with military Thanksgivings) and it has been the same turkey every single year: bacon-wrapped turkey! This year will be the same and I believe I'm also going to be making these lovely au gratin potatoes again too. So I'll have to find some new recipes to try - probably dessert ones :) Anyways, I figured this recipe would pair well with the bacon-wrapped turkey and I was so right! I used some of the same spices from the potatoes on the turkey, which really turned out well.
This year, we are lucky to have Nick's brother coming in from Germany where he is stationed, and their grandparents and aunts are also coming into town...so we will definitely have a crowd. I think our last count with just the family is 23 people. I cannot wait to plan out more dishes to go with these au gratin potatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner! If you are looking to change up your potato side dish for the holidays, I highly recommend this recipe. You will not be disappointed.
Also a tip for large get-togethers, use the aluminum pans. They are a lifesaver - easy clean up for sure! But ignore the burned edges...that actually wasn't any part of the actual potatoes that got burnt, just the juices on the edges of the pan. Don't you love trying to make your food look super presentable and get that little extra touch?! :)
What you need:
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tsp. dried parsley
- 1 tsp. dried chives
- 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
- 6 to 8 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 8 oz. grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. butter, cut into tiny cubes
- In a large saucepan, add heavy cream, onion, bay leaves, garlic, parsley, chives, thyme, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Ladle a little of the spiced cream into the bottom of a 9x13" casserole dish. Enough to cover the bottom.
- Place your potatoes in a large bowl and pour the remaining cream over the top (with the onions). Toss gently.
- With a slotted spoon, spoon 1/3 of the potatoes and onions into the casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Top with 1 cup of cheese, half of the bacon, and then 1/3 of the cream from the bowl. Repeat the layers once.
- Then top the casserole with the last of the potatoes and onions. Pour the rest of the cream over the top.
- Top with the small cubes of butter.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400* for 1 hour.
- Remove the dish from the oven, remove foil, and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Bake for another 10 minutes. Prick the potatoes with a fork to see if they are tender, if not, keep baking in 5 to 10 minute increments.
- Broil until the potatoes are golden brown.
Recipe from Carlsbad Cravings
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