Who says that men can’t multi-task? Boulangère potatoes are proof that we can. What’s more, they are a terrific, lower-calorie alternative to gratin dauphinois.
The dish takes its name from the baker – le boulanger – because it was traditionally cooked in the bakery oven after the loaves for the day had been made. The leftover heat in the oven allowed the potatoes to cook slowly over a long period.
Making it is easy. You need to peel your potatoes and then cut them into slices about two or three millimetres thick. Then slice two or three onions very thinly and fry them gently in butter. They should go soft but not colour.
“The dish was traditionally cooked in the bakery oven after the loaves had been made”
Then you add them to the potatoes, add some salt, pepper and sprig or two of thyme and put in an ovenproof dish. Pour enough chicken stock to cover the potatoes and cook at 200° for about 35 minutes.
Then take them out, pour off any excess stock and brush the top with melted butter. A final ten minutes in the oven will crisp the top nicely.
I made the dish the other evening. I may not have prepared it while I was baking bread, but I did write this post while the potatoes were in the oven. Now that is multi-tasking at its best.