Roasted garlic, thyme and parmesan potato dauphinoise

If there is one dish that is a sure fire crowd pleaser and ultimate comfort food then it has to be this! Potato dauphinoise is classic and mainstay of French cuisine and here it has a revamp to add even more flavour to it. This can be enjoyed with a range of main dishes however steak does it for me every time! Taking inspiration from French cooking I have added roasted garlic and thyme to ramp up the flavour. Now this may not be considered health (far from it in fact!) but a little of what you fancy does you good so read on and indulge yourself…

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Ingredients- serves 4
Knob of unsalted butter
1 small garlic bulb
800g Maris Piper potatoes- peeled
Fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
300ml double cream
Freshly grated parmesan- optional

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan. Cut the top of the garlic bulb and wrap it in foil and drizzle with a little oil before baking for around 20 minutes until the garlic is soft. Allow to cool before squeezing the garlic from the bulb and mashing with the back of a fork. Take an ovenproof dish that will be large enough for you to fit the sliced potato in. Use a knob of butter and run it all over the inside of the dish to stop the potatoes from sticking when they cook.

2. Carefully use a knife or mandolin with the guard on to thinly slice the potatoes. Use any larger slices to create the first layer in the dish and make sure the slices slightly overlap; season with salt and pepper before adding some of the thyme leaves and a little of the roasted garlic. Repeat until the potatoes are used up and remember to season each layer well.

3. Press the layers down slightly and pour over the double cream. Allow it to soak through the potatoes and finish with some freshly grated parmesan, if you like. Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes until the potatoes are tender and bubbling. I often cover the dish with foil for most of the cooking time before removing towards the end to brown in off but this will depend on your oven. When ready, remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Roasted garlic, thyme and parmesan potato dauphinoise- a gratin to stand the test of time!

 

 

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Melt in the mouth red wine and rosemary braised lamb shanks

This recipe treats beautiful lamb shanks with the respect they deserve. I cook the shanks slow and low in the oven but you could also use a slow cooker if you prefer and leave on for a few hours whilst you put your feet up.

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Ingredients- serves 2 (can be doubled)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 lamb shanks- approx 350g each
1 banana shallot- finely sliced
Clove of garlic- crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 anchovy fillets- cut into thirds
80ml red wine
100ml lamb stock
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Dash of balsamic vinegar
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
Salt and pepper to season
2 small carrots- finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to. 160c/ 140 fan.Grab your casserole and heat the oil over a medium/ high heat. Brown off the lamb shanks and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium and, using the fat from the lamb, cook the shallot and onion until softened.

2. Pop in the tomato puree and anchovy (a little savoury bomb!) and cook out for a minute or two before adding the wine; the wine needs to be reduced by half. Next up goes the stock, tinned tomatoes and a dash of balsamic vinegar (trust me, it works!) and stir well to combine. Throw in the carrots and rosemary and season to taste.

3. Bring the pan to a simmer and then add the lamb shanks back to the pan. Pop the lamb in the oven for 2- 2 1/2 hours (depending on the size of the shanks) until the sauce has thickened and the lamb falls away from the bone. Remember to turn the shanks halfway through cooking.I like to take the shanks out of the oven about ten minutes before the end, take the shanks out gently and set aside before further thickening the sauce on the hob before serving. Serve with dauphinoise potatoes (see below!) and seasonal greens such as kale.

Easy Dauphinoise Potatoes

Potatoes and cream- what’s not to like?! Not one to eat everyday but one to treat yourself to every now and again. You could substitute cream for creme fraiche if you prefer and do try it with a splash of vegetable stock over the top too.

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Ingredients- serves 4
Small Knob of unsalted butter
1 garlic clove- cut in half
800g potatoes- cut into thin slices
300ml double cream

1. Preheat the oven to 160c/ 140 fan. Choose a large oven proof dish (or a couple of smaller dishes if you prefer) and rub the inside with butter so the potatoes don’t stick to the sides. Take the cut garlic clove and rub this inside too.

2. Layer the potatoes in the dish. Save any smaller slices for the top so they crisp up.  Add a little seasoning to the cream before pouring over the top. Cook in the oven for 50- 60 minutes until the point of a sharp knife goes really through the golden layers of potato. You can also add gruyere cheese on top of you like.

A classic, creamy treat that’s perfect as a supporting act to a whole host of mains. A sumptuous dinner that you’ll come back to time and time again!