Let’s talk about how to make friends and reconcile with enemies: make this dish IMMEDIATELY and feed them with it! I can honestly say that I’ve never made au gratin potatoes on my own with anything but the store mixes you can buy with the freeze-dried potatoes and powdered cheese. Hey, don’t judge me, those still taste good!
But this? This is the real deal. It’s time-intensive, full of saturated fat, and just about the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. People will flock to you like the salmon of Capistrano (can anyone name that movie?!)…in fact, you probably won’t have any left for you if you decide to share. Proceed with caution.
So yes, like I said, it is time and labor-intensive. You have to cut and soak the leeks to get the sand out. You have to saute them in butter. You have to cook the bacon, let it cool a bit, and crumble it. You have to skin and very thinly slice the potatoes. And you have to deal with trying to cut the brie, which is probably the biggest pain in the world.
But come time for that first bite? It’s all worth it.
The process is really very easy when all the prep work is done…just layer the taters (what’s taters, precious? – 10 extra points if you name that movie too!)
I mean look at it in there, all snuggly and creamy and perfect…if raw potatoes weren’t nasty I’d totally have eaten it then!
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch medallions
- 3 leeks, only the pale green and white parts
- 10 slices bacon, cooked to crispy
- 4 Tbsp butter, divided
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 oz brie cheese, rind removed and cut into chunks
Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray, set aside. Slice leeks down the center, then cut into 1/4-inch slices. Submerge in a large bowl of water to remove all sand in between the layers. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a skillet and saute leeks for about 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Set aside. In the same skillet melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat. Let it thicken for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper and melt in the brie. Layer potato slices, leeks, bacon, and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat 3 times, ending with the sauce on top. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Serve hot.
Served with this chicken we had the most amazing meal, inspired by big, simple flavors and lots of time for Sunday night cooking! Now if only I can keep my paws off those leftovers…