How could four simple ingredients–potatoes, salt, pepper and butter–taste so darn good? This is seriously delicious and easy and beautiful. I can’t say enough how impressed I was with myself. The top and bottom are crunchy like potato chips, but the middle layers are soft and creamy. I co-worker saw me eating the leftovers at lunch and immediately went home to make his own. Feel free to add some chopped rosemary or garlic, but it’s also great on its own.
Makes 8 servings
- 2 3/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 6), peeled
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450°. Using a mandoline, slice potatoes, 1/4 inch thick, or thinner. (Do not place potatoes in water at this point; the starch is needed to bind the layers.) (I don’t own a mandoline, so I used the blade attachment on my food processor. You can cut them by hand, but it’s hard to get them as thin as necessary.)
2. Brush bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Starting in center of pan, arrange potato slices in a circular pattern, overlapping the edges. Evenly brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter; season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining potatoes and butter, creating 2 more layers. (The next time I make this I will do 7 or 8 layers to get some good height.) Finish with a final layer of butter, salt, and pepper. When arranging potatoes, be sure to fill in all the spaces.
3. Place over medium-high heat until the edges of the potatoes begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. If you are not using a cast-iron skillet, this step is not necessary.
4. Place in oven, and bake until potatoes are fork tender, 45 to 55 minutes for the cast-iron skillet and 1 to 1 1/2 hours for the pie plate. Remove from oven, and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Using a small spatula, separate potato edges from sides of pan. Shake pan and slide a spatula along bottom to loosen potatoes. Carefully invert onto a flat serving platter. Slice and serve.
PS-I forgot to mention that the recipe came from this lovely lady. Also, a friend suggested using clarified butter so that the bottom doesn’t over-brown. Sounds smart to me.