I’m an incredibly indecisive person, so this was tough.
I was so happy with how these turned out. It doesn’t always happen that when testing a new recipe I come up with on the fly comes out so well. Sometimes it takes two or three trials before I feel a dish is good enough to share. I got lucky on this one…not that I would have minded making them a few more times because they are really, really yummy.
Smoked Gouda and Pancetta Potatoes Au Gratin
- 1 lb russet potatoes
- 1.5 cups of smoked gouda, shredded
- 2 ¼” thick slices of pancetta, diced small
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- splash of oil
- salt and pepper
1. In a small sauté pan over medium high heat, add a small amount of oil and the diced pancetta. Sauté until pancetta is browned and then remove from heat onto a paper towel to remove excess oil. Peel your potatoes and slice 1/8” thick. If you have a mandolin – bust it out! Set aside.
2. In a small sauce pan add milk, heavy cream, butter, garlic powder, and onion powder. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
3. In a small casserole dish (mine was approx a 5x5) lay a single layer of potatoes slightly overlapping. Next layer a light amount of cheese and sprinkle some pancetta.
This is as I was finishing the second layer of potatoes
Repeat two more times and then add your top layer of potatoes and cheese, but not the pancetta on the top layer. Pour milk/cream mixture over potatoes and cover.
4. Place in a 350 degree oven and cook for 40 minutes. **Place a sheet underneath the dish just in case of spillage** Then remove cover and top with panko bread crumbs. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until panko is lightly browned.
5. Remove from oven and let stand 10 or so minutes before serving.
Thoughts: These were spectacular. The potatoes were cooked perfectly and the gouda melted nicely to create a rich and slightly smoky sauce. I find pancetta to get a bit of a sweet taste when browned so it was a nice addition to the gratin. I think it helped keep the smokiness from being too overwhelming. The panko was something new I tried. I normally don't add any type of bread crumbs on top of my regular gratin, but at the last minute I thought it would be something different... make it a lil more special if you will. I really like the texture and extra crunchiness it added. The smell wafting out of the oven when these were baking was almost torture they smelled so good. Brent liked them as well and we ended up “fighting” over who got to take the leftover for lunch the next day. I'm definitely going to make these again.