Potato and Jerusalem Artichoke Gratin

Three lovely potato dishes for you this week. First up a Potato and Jerusalem Artichoke Gratin. I am cooking this at the SuperClub this week in Putney and since I have never made it before I thought I had better give it a try. Obviously you can make a gratin with practically any root veg but it is the starch in the potato which helps hold the whole thing together, so it is always worth putting a bit of potato in, even if it is not the main ingredient.

I love Jerusalem artichokes. Though strangely enough they do not come from Jerusalem and have nothing to do with artichokes. They are in face a  tuber from the sunflower family and originate from North America.

This gratin is delicious on its own served up with a nice green salad, or would work very well along side a piece of chicken or lamb.

Potato and Jerusalem Artichoke Gratin

Serves 8-10  This makes a very large gratin. You can cut the amount easily by 1/3 or 2/3

1 cup milk (250mls)

3 cups Double cream (750mls)

3 whole peeled garlic cloves

1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste

800g potatoes, sliced thin

500g Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled

In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, whole garlic cloves and rosemary over low-medium heat being careful not to boil over. Gently boil for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. The cream is going to season the whole dish so it can be quite salty. Arrange the sliced Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes in a gratin dish. The Jerusalem artichokes discolour quickly so finish with a layer of potatoes.

Mash up the garlic cloves in the cream until they dissolve. Check the seasoning of the cream. Pour the infused milk over the potatoes. It should come up nearly to the top, but not quite. If necessary add a little more milk. Cover the dish with foil and place in a preheated 170 degree oven. Pre-boiling the cream should stop the gratin boiling over in the oven but just in case put a layer of tin foil under the gratin to save on washing up. Bake for about 1 hour until the potatoes are tender. A knife should easily insert in the middle. Uncover and bake for 15 additional minutes until gratin is golden around the edges. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Kohl Rabi and Potato Gratin

Its Kohl Rabi time of year again and I have to admit that even I never know what to do with them. But before you panic at the alien in your veg box, I am forever trying to test out new ways of using up this unusual vegetable. But why bother you may wonder. Well, Kohl Rabi is really good for you. Super high in vitamin C, even more than oranges, it is actually of the cabbage family although you would not know it.

Kohl Rabi and Potato Gratin 2

I have to admit I was concerned that I was not really going to like this week’s recipe of Kohl Rabi and Potato Gratin. I though what can Kohl Rabi possibly add to a recipe which was perfectly delicious without it? But I was wrong. The Kohl Rabi really does add to this gratin, not only the vitamins but it adds texture and lightens the consistency of this otherwise rather dense dish. I really couldn’t recommend it highly enough!

Kohl Rabi and Potato Gratin 1

Kohl Rabi and Potato Gratin

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 knob butter, plus a little more for greasing the dish

2 medium onions (about 600g), halved and finely sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

500g kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 3mm thick rounds

250g potatoes, peeled and cut into 3mm rounds

2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped

200ml double cream

200ml water (or chicken or vegetable stock)

For the topping

60g fresh breadcrumbs

25g butter, melted

45g cheddar or hard goat’s cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Place a medium-sized frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil and butter, wait until it foams, then add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté for 12 minutes, until soft and starting to take on a little colour.

Throw in the kohlrabi, potatoes and thyme, and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing the mixture occasionally, for another five minutes.

Pour over the cream and stock, simmer gently until the liquid is reduced by half, then place in a lightly buttered gratin dish, about 30cm x 20cm x 7cm in size, levelling it out with a spatula as you go. Place the gratin dish on a baking tray.

Blitz together the breadcrumbs, butter and cheese in a blender, and sprinkle over the top of the filling. Bake the gratin in a hot oven for about 35-40 minutes, until all golden and bubbling.

Kol Rabi