I must confess; since I was quite young, I’ve been making the same recipe-without-a-recipe scalloped potatoes. I watched my mother make it several times and then made the recipe myself as a duplicate to hers, with a frustratingly low 65-70% success rate.
I’ve always figured that my hit-or-miss percentage on this recipe was because I had forgotten an ingredient or the proportions or the order of operations for the dish. And in a way, that would be correct; my constant tweaking of the poorly-remembered recipe meant a higher likelihood of failure. And when I speak of failure, I’m talking about swampy, crunchy potatoes swimming in way too much butter and milk, with chunks of unmixed flour floating around. THAT kind of failure.
One should never have to drink their scalloped potatoes.
One day the gods smiled down upon me and I was finally forgiven for my potato sins; I came across a recipe for scalloped potatoes a couple of years ago that used most of the same ingredients but prepared them in a different way. Considering I couldn’t pinpoint why my previous recipe had an unacceptably high failure rate, I was intrigued to try this different method to see if I could fix my issues.
Oh boy. Oh me oh my this was GOOD.
I made it a second time, believing the first to be a fluke.
Nope, just as delicious and creamy and garlicky and herby and cheesy as the first time.
Since that first attempt, I’ve made this recipe about half a dozen times, for dinner parties, special occasions, a food gift (!), and once just because I was feeling a little “extra” that day. It’s not once failed me. Safe to say this is now my ride or die recipe for scalloped potatoes, and I’m so pleased to give a hearty THANK YOU to its creator at Gimme Some Oven, for its simplicity and ease of preparation. You have created a masterpiece, and other than a minor tweak here and there, it stands well as-is. I’ll never go back to any other way of making this dish, and I have you to thank!
Source: Gimme Some Oven
Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 55 minutes
- 3+1 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, heated
- 2 cups milk (2% or whole milk is best)
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
- 4 lbs Yukon Gold/yellow flesh potatoes, washed and sliced into ⅛” rounds
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided (don’t use pre-grated cheese)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with 1 tbsp butter and set aside. If you wish for more layers, use a slightly smaller, deeper dish.
- Melt remaining butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in flour until well-combined and cook for 1 more minute. Gradually add hot stock, whisking until combined with no flour lumps. Add in the milk, salt, pepper and 1 tsp thyme, and whisk until combined. continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes until the sauce barely begins to simmer around the edges of the pan and thickens (do not let the sauce come to a full boil). Remove from heat and set aside.
- Spread as many sliced potatoes as will fit in one even layer on the bottom of the greased baking dish. Top evenly with a portion of the cream sauce, and sprinkle evenly with a portion of the shredded cheddar and Parmesan. Repeat layers until dish is filled to the top and you have no more components. Sprinkle with reserved thyme leaves.
- Cover dish with lid or foil that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray on the underside, and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. If you have concerns with bubbling over, place the baking dish on a cookie sheet and increase the cooking time 10 minutes. Check the potatoes; if they are bubbling around the edges, remove the lid/foil and bake uncovered for another 25-30 minutes until the top is dotted with brown and the potatoes are cooked through.
- Transfer the baking dish to a cooling rack and let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving. Best served warm. Leftovers reheat beautifully!