This extra cheesy Potato Au Gratin recipe gets a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ with the addition of prosciutto and thinly sliced apples.
There are certain Thanksgiving traditions you just don’t mess with. At our house, it’s the Party Potatoes. Party potatoes are mashed potatoes on steroids. Take your standard fluffy white potatoes, whisk in some cream cheese and sour cream, spread them in a baking dish, and smother them in cheddar cheese. Then bake until the cheese is melted and golden and the whole thing is a bubbling mess of carbs.
That’s party potatoes.
And we have them EVERY year. It’s tradition. And it’s amazing.
Buuuuuut, this year I’m feeling rebellious. There’s a new potato dish in town and it’s giving Party Potatoes a run for their money.
It’s Potatoes and Apples Au Gratin with Skellig Cheddar Cheese, and hot dang if it isn’t good.
This is my first adventure into au gratin, and guys? It’s not nearly as fancy or difficult as it sounds. This is just really good, really simple, really comforting fare–covered in cheese and bits of prosciutto.
Good. Let’s break it down.
Thin slices of potatoes and apples. (A mandoline slicer can save your sanity and your patience, but if you don’t have one, a good ol’ knife will do ya just fine.)
Garlic. (Awwww yeah…things are already getting good).
Salt and pepper. (always).
Nutmeg. (Waaaaait, you thought nutmeg was only for pumpkin pie? No way! Nutmeg adds a great subtle depth to creamy sauces. Trust me, don’t skip it!)
Cream. (Go big or go home, baby).
Kerrygold’s Skellig Cheddar Cheese (It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s bold, it’s a teensy bit sweet. You’re gonna love it. Enough said.)
Prosciutto bits (Because it’s Thanksgiving and I splurged and HELLO crispy morsels of pork are totally necessary).
So how the heck do these simple ingredients create such a kick butt side dish?
It’s all about low and slow baking, baby. After the potatoes and apples are seasoned and layered in a baking dish, you gently pour the cream until they’re all covered up and cozy. Then you bake them for a good long while. And something amazing happens. The potatoes slurp up the cream and form this wonderfully thick, creamy, garlicky sauce. It’s almost like an Alfredo, but not on purpose. L-O-V-E.
Then there’s the cheese. Melty, browned cheese with those crispy edges that just beg you to sneak a little bite.
Guys, when your spoon cracks through this cheesy crust and plunges into the soft, creamy stacks of potatoes below? You’re going to flip. out.
I’m thinking since this dish is also covered in cheese I can probably slip it onto our Thanksgiving table without anybody noticing. It’s totally worth the risk.
A few notes on this recipe:
Next time, I’ll be slicing the potatoes a little thinner (about 1/8 inch) and the apples a little thicker (about 1/4 inch), so you can taste the apples a little more.
This is an incredibly versatile recipe. You can make it vegetarian friendly by leaving out the prosciutto, or sub in your favorite meat–ham, bacon, pancetta–pretty much anything that comes from a pig would be delicious in this. You can also add extra cheese in between the layers of potatoes (though you’ll want to reduce the salt if you do).
I used White on Rice Couple’s recommendations for cracking the crust and keeping the potatoes extra moist throughout the baking process. For a step by step tutorial with pictures, I recommend checking out their post!
What about you? What are the must have dishes on your Thanksgiving table?
Recipe by Neighborfood
Note: I’m entering this recipe into a contest hosted by Kerrygold. I received free Kerrygold cheeses for participating. All opinions are my own.