A savory winter potato dish rich in bacon, onions, and melting cheese. Worth each bite and calorie. Neither is your typical potato gratin.
France is abounding with potato recipes. I am sure we may have recipes for each day of the year. After all, it is part of our national plate of Steak, Frites, and salad.
This dish I am sharing with you is an adaptation of Larousse Cuisine.
And with the holidays just around the corner, once you enjoy this dish, it will become your permanent staple in your cooking arsenal.
The bacon in the oven will absorb all the beautiful flavors and enhance this dish.
In this Article
- What is Potato Gratin?
- What is Raclette?
- Baking tips to make this delicious raclette recipe
- Step by Step
- Substitutes and additions
- Storing and reheating
- Frequently Asked Questions
- This is the perfect companion to so many beautiful dishes
- Are you looking for more yummy potato dishes?
- Bacon, Onion, Raclette Potato Gratin
What is Potato Gratin?
Potato Gratin, also known as Gratin Dauphinois, is a traditional French dish hailing from the Dauphiné region in south-eastern France.
Famed for its creamy, savory goodness, Potato Gratin is a luxurious combination of thin circles of potatoes layered and baked in a casserole dish with milk or cream, cheese, and often garlic.
Some recipes use a semi-soft cheese or even sour cream but I prefer cream for mine.
The beauty of Potato Gratin lies in its simplicity, its ability to complement a wide variety of main dishes, and its inherently comforting and filling nature.
The top layer of the gratin becomes gorgeously golden and crisp in the oven, satisfyingly contrasting the tender, flavorful potatoes beneath covered in that gorgeous creamy sauce.
This delicious dish has a simple way of transforming a humble ingredient, the potato, into something truly special. It is one of those perfect everyday comfort foods that’s a great addition to your recipe options.
Once you have had a taste of Potato Gratin, you’ll find its rich, inviting flavors and soulful warmth simply irresistible — it’s a love affair waiting to happen.
What is Raclette?
Raclette is a Swiss cheese that is very popular in France and is my gold standard for this recipe. However, Semi-hard cheese used for melting tastes delicious cut into slices.
I used raclette cheese, if that is not available, use any cheese that will melt such as Gruyere and Emmenthal or a similar French cheese. To purchase raclette, follow the below link.
I would not recommend, however, using cheddar, it will change the taste completely of the dish. The same applies to something like blue cheese.
When selecting the bacon, make sure the slices are thick, and applewood smoked is an unexpected ingredient that would work beautifully as well with this dish.
Baking tips to make this delicious raclette recipe
- If you have a mandoline, do use it to slice the potatoes. Having them cut even will permit each slice to cook evenly.
- Do parboil the potatoes. This step will allow you to make it the day before cooking. Also will cut in half the cooking time.
- Salting the cooking water to parboil the potatoes allows your potatoes to be seasoned in the cooking process and reduces the extra salt later.
- When cutting the raclette cheese, ensure all the pieces are even. Better melting distribution.
- Onion and bacon cooked together are one of my favorite combinations. The bacon flavor is absorbed by the onion, giving it that rich flavor we love to bite into.
- The heavy cream gives it that very rich, soft flavor when you bite into those soft potato slices. I would not use milk as a substitute as it will not show you the same savory taste.
Step by Step
To begin, preheat the oven to 400F. Then add a teaspoon salt to boiling water in a medium pot and cook the potatoes for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. The goal is to have them partially cooked yet still firm.
Once done, drain the potatoes and set them aside or use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water.
In a medium-sized skillet or sauté pan, heat and melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and allow them to sweat for 5 minutes.
Then, introduce the bacon pieces to the skillet and cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat until they acquire a delightful light golden hue.
Dice the raclette cheese into small cubes. Butter a baking dish generously with butter. Begin layering by placing half of the potatoes, followed by half of the bacon-onion mixture and half of the cheese.
Season with a dash of salt and pepper for added flavor.
Continue the process with the remaining potatoes and mixture, ensuring even distribution. Drizzle a generous amount of heavy cream over the top potato layer for added richness.
Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the top takes on a delicate golden brown due to the melted cheese.
Allow it to rest before serving, letting the flavors meld together for a delightful culinary experience.
Substitutes and additions
While this potato and bacon casserole is perfect as it is, there are a few substitutions and additions you can make to suit your preferences or dietary needs:
- Cheese: If raclette cheese is not available or if you’re looking for a different flavor profile, other cheeses that melt well such as fontina, gouda, or even a mild provolone could be used. Remember, the cheese is a significant part of the flavor in this dish, so choose carefully.
- Bacon: Turkey bacon can be a great alternative for those who do not eat pork, or you can use smoked tempeh for a vegetarian option.
- Cream: For a lighter version, half-and-half can be used instead of heavy cream. For a dairy-free option, you can use coconut cream or cashew cream, though this will slightly alter the flavor.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or parsley could be sprinkled on top for added flavor and color.
- Spices: For a bit of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top before baking.
Remember, the best recipes are those that you personalize to your taste. Enjoy experimenting with this versatile dish!
Storing and reheating
Super easy to reheat and delicious as the first day you made it.
- It can store in the refrigerator for a couple of days, covered with aluminum foil.
- Ensure it is completely cooled off before covering it to avoid condensation in your dish.
- Bring back to room temperature. Cover tightly with aluminum foil that you will have lightly spread with butter.
- Place in an oven preheated at 325F degrees for about 20 minutes or until hot. Keep an eye on it, as you do not want to burn.
- Serve and enjoy.
Potato Gratin also freezes well. Make sure it’s completely cool before wrapping it tightly and freezing.
To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the reheating instructions above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use other types of meat in this recipe?
Absolutely, you could use smoked ham or prosciutto if you prefer. Or, for a vegetarian option, omit the meat completely and add more vegetables.
What types of potatoes work best for this recipe?
It’s best to use starchy potatoes, such as Russet or Yukon Gold, as they hold their shape well during cooking and absorb the cream and cheese beautifully.
Is it necessary to peel the potatoes?
Peeling the potatoes is a personal preference. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can peel them. If you like the added texture and nutrients the skin provides, feel free to leave it on. Just ensure the potatoes are well washed before use.
How can I make this dish vegan?
For a vegan version, substitute the bacon for a plant-based alternative and use vegan cheese and a dairy-free cream substitute. Remember that the texture and flavor might slightly differ from the traditional recipe.
Can you make this in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can! The cooking time will be longer but the results will be just as delicious. Layer the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Be sure to check your potatoes every so often to make sure they are cooked through.
This is the perfect companion to so many beautiful dishes
As you know by now, I do love potatoes, they are one of my top foods. I would eat them every meal if I could.
The holidays are just around the corner and this dish will be the easiest, most savory, and perfect side dish to any dish you prepare for your family and friends.
There are lots of dishes that you can serve this with. It works as a perfect contrast to something like beef stew. Or it works as a daily meal in its own right.
- Prime Rib Roast With Vegetables
- Prepare a very simple green salad
- Rack of lamb with parsley. Lamb requires a hearty side dish, and the Bacon, onion, and raclette potato gratin is perfect.
- Chicken Spatchcocked. Bake them both simultaneously and dinner will be made without effort.
Are you looking for more yummy potato dishes?
You may want to try making:
As you know by now, I do love potatoes. I would eat them every meal if I could.
The holidays are just around the corner, and this dish will be the easiest, most savory, and perfect side dish to any dish you prepare for your family and friends.
Equipment and products used to create this wonderful dish
Bacon, Onion, Raclette Potato Gratin
- 3 potatoes, peeled and sliced into ½" rounds
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter, + extra for the gratin dish
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices bacon, sliced into small bite-size pieces
- 8 ounces raclette cheese
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes. They should be slightly cooked but still firm. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat melt and warm the butter and the olive oil. Add the onions and let them sweat for 5 minutes. add the bacon pieces to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes until they have reached a light golden color.
- Cut the raclette cheese into small cubes. Butter a gratin dish with butter. Layer half the potatoes and top with half the bacon-onion mixture and half of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat the same with the remaining potatoes and mixture. Sprinkle the heavy cream over it. Place in the hot oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove when the top is a light golden color and let it rest before serving.
Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
Did you make this?
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This recipe was originally published on September 8, 2020. Updated on September 20, 2023.