I make Bobby Flay's 11-layer potato gratin every year as my Thanksgiving side.
The only real prep work is slicing, washing, and drying the potatoes.
I fry my toppings while the gratin bakes, and everything is done in about an hour.
Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year — changing seasons, time with family, and, of course, the food.
As a newlywed, I scrambled for recipes to contribute to my family's Thanksgiving dinner. I was delegated to a side dish, which led me down an endless rabbit hole of variations and recipes.
I needed something quick and easy, but I wanted something people would remember and talk about for years to come.
Eventually, my husband and I came across Bobby Flay's 11-layer potato gratin. The results were outstanding. Every single member of my family asked me for my recipe and went back for seconds or thirds.
It's become my signature Thanksgiving dish, and I make it every year.
The most time-consuming part is preparing the potatoes.
The recipe calls for four medium Idaho potatoes, which are tasty and easy to find, but I actually prefer russets.
Pretty much all of the prep work is just slicing the potatoes. Although Flay peels his spuds, I prefer skin-on for a rustic taste and feel. But it's probably worth the extra time and effort if you prefer a smoother consistency.
The slicing can absolutely be done with a sharp knife, but a simple kitchen mandoline makes this immensely easier and faster.
After slicing, the potatoes are soaked in cold water and thoroughly dried.
The final step of prep work is just washing and drying the slices.
I've developed a method of layering my potatoes between sheets of paper towels and pressing them down as hard as I can to remove all the moisture.
Once the potatoes are dried, the rest of the recipe is incredibly easy.
My dish never actually has 11 layers, but it’s still delicious every time.
I like to use a sturdy casserole dish to begin layering the potatoes. Once the first layer is done, I drizzle a few tablespoons of cream over the potatoes, finish with salt and pepper, and move on to the next layer.
This creates the "11 layers," but it's more of a figure of speech than an actual number. I just continue with as many layers of potatoes as I can without overloading my casserole dish.
When the dish is full, I cover it with foil and pop the whole thing in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes — which gives me just enough time to polish off the rest of the recipe.
The caramelized shallots are arguably the most delicious part.
The caramelized shallots — basically fancy crispy onions — make this dish.
After thinly slicing the shallots (a mandoline is also incredibly time-saving here), I toss them in a pan with butter and a pinch of sugar. They cook on medium heat until they're gorgeously brown and fragrant.
Afterward, I place the shallots on a paper towel to drain the excess oil for maximum crispiness.
The final step is prepping the fried sage.
After finishing off the shallots, I check on the gratin and pop it back in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
This time while it's cooking, I focus on frying sage leaves in some oil until they're crispy.
When the casserole comes out, I sprinkle my delicious caramelized shallots on top in an even layer and crumble the fried sage over everything.
Flay recommends placing whole sage leaves on top, but my family found that overwhelming. Over time, I've discovered that crumbling the sage provides just enough texture and flavor to balance each bite.
Flay’s potato gratin is everything a holiday side dish should be.
This recipe has everything. It's visually beautiful and has a delicious holiday flavor profile.
Best of all, no one would ever guess the entire dish takes very little prep and about an hour to bake.
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