As you will quickly see, this is not a “healthy” recipe and certainly not a recipe that I would make regularly. Rather it is a special occasion treat. And, a treat it is. I typically make this for Thanksgiving and Christmas and it is always a hit! Don’t be afraid by the fennel, either. The fennel is one of the best parts of the dish. As it cooks down with the onions, it develops a sweet and very mild flavor that really adds to the dish in a beautiful way. This is another recipe triumph by Ina Garten – one that has become a regular at our family holiday celebrations. Bon appetit!
Ina Garten's Potato-Fennel Gratin
- 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Small Fennel Bulbs
- 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 2 lbs. Russet Potatoes (4 large potatoes)
- 2 c. plus 2 tablespoons Heavy Cream
- 2 1/2 c. Grated Gruyère Cheese (1/2 pound)
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Step 2 Butter the inside of a 10-by-15-by-2-inch (10-cup) baking dish.
- Step 3 Remove the stalks from the fennel and cut the bulbs in half lengthwise. Remove the cores and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise, making approximately 4 cups of sliced fennel. Saute the fennel and onions in the olive oil and butter on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until tender.
- Step 4 Peel the potatoes, then thinly slice them by hand or with a mandoline. Mix the sliced potatoes in a large bowl with 2 cups of cream, 2 cups of Gruyère, salt, and pepper. Add the sauteed fennel and onion and mix well.
- Step 5 Pour the potatoes into the baking dish. Press down to smooth the potatoes. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream and 1/2 cup of Gruyère and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the potatoes are very tender and the top is browned and bubbly. Allow to set for 10 minutes and serve.