Potato Boulangere is a potato & onion bake that is very easy to make and a lighter alternative to creamy dauphinoise potatoes. This rustic French dish is made of thinly sliced potatoes, sautéed onions, garlic, and butter, then covered in homemade stock and baked in the oven for a soft buttery potato inside, with a little crunch on the top. It complements perfectly most meat, chicken or fish dishes, especially succulent roast lamb.
The meaning of potato boulangere is "potatoes from the bakers" in French and it is because the dish was cooked by bakers when people in rural areas didn't have their own ovens. The tradition was taking a casserole of potatoes to the local baker at the end of the day to cook the dish in the baker's cooling oven overnight. It is very similar to a tradition in Turkey for cooking a ceremonial dish called "Keşkek". This tradition is still ongoing in some rural areas.
Why This Recipe Works?
- It is a great alternative to potato dauphinoise or Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes when you need something healthier and lighter. It has only 185 kcal per portion!
- This recipe is very easy to make with step-by-step pictures and instructions.
- You only need a few basic fridge ingredients that you might already have in hand.
- It complements most grilled or roasted meat & fish dishes.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- Potatoes - The best options for this potato dish are floury potatoes such as desire, russet or Maris piper.
- Onions - I use brown onions but white, yellow or red onions would work perfectly too.
- Garlic - Use fresh garlic or omit it if you don't have any.
- Butter - A good quality salted or unsalted butter is perfect for this dish but you can use a good quality extra virgin olive oil for the vegetarian/vegan version.
- Stock - For the best results, you should use Easy Homemade Chicken Stock. However, if you want to make this dish vegetarian/vegan friendly, you can use Basic Homemade Vegetable Stock. You can also use a good quality store-bought stock or stock cubes. Just make sure you check the saltiness of the stock you are using before adding any seasoning to your dish.
- Herbs - use finely chopped thyme, oregano or rosemary leaves. You can use dried herbs instead, just make sure you use one-third of the amount stated for fresh herbs.
- Seasoning - Adjust the amount to your taste and reduce the amount of salt if using shop-bought stock.
How to Make the Perfect Potato Boulangere?
This rustic French potato dish is very easy to make with a little preparation. To achieve the best results, you need to follow a few tips and simple steps:
- Sauté sliced onions - Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven). Peel and slice the onions and garlic. Melt 25 grams of butter in a pan and gently saute the onions along with the garlic and thyme on medium to low heat. This should take around 15 minutes until they are soft and slightly golden. Although some of the recipes layer raw onions, cooking them in advance is necessary. When you layer raw onions between the potatoes, they don't always have enough time to fully cook.
- Slice the potatoes - While sautéing the onions, peel and slice the potatoes. Use a mandolin or the slicer attachment on your food processor to slice the potatoes. You can cut by hand using a sharp knife if you have enough time and patience. Don't wash your potatoes after slicing them as they would lose the starch necessary to thicken the stock.
- Build your dish - Once you have sliced your potatoes, brush an oven-safe baking dish (approximately 21 cm / 8.25" diameter) with soft butter and start building the boulangere potatoes. Arrange about ⅓ of the potatoes on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle on half of the onions. Season with salt and pepper then arrange another ⅓ of the potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the onions, add more seasoning.
Nicely arrange the rest of the potatoes and scatter small cubes of 25 grams of butter on top of the potatoes and pour over the Chicken Stock. Add just enough to reach about a third of the depth of the dish. It will bubble up as the potatoes cook and slowly be absorbed.
Cover the dish with a lid or tin foil and cook in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the lid or tin foil and cook for another 30 minutes until the stock is absorbed by the potatoes and the top layer is crisp.
For other great side dishes why not try:
Allrounder or floury potatoes such as desire, russet, or Maris piper are perfect for this dish. The potato & onion bake would slip and slide apart when you serve if you use waxy potatoes.
Potatoes discolor when you cut them which makes this dish is hard to prepare in advance but you can prepare and cook it in advance and then reheat when you want to serve. To reheat, cover the dish and place it in a preheated oven (180°C fan oven) for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and leave for another 10 minutes to get the top nice and crispy.
This healthy yet delicious potato side dish is the perfect accompaniment to roast meat or chicken dishes such as Roasted Chicken with Rice Stuffing. They go also well with richer dishes like Aubergine Meatball Wraps (Islim Kebabi), Turkish Moussaka, or Beef Bourguignon.
Top Tip From the Chef
Don't wash the potatoes after slicing as they will lose their starch and they won't stick together.
I hope you enjoy the process of making these perfect Boulanger Potatoes as much as you would enjoy eating them! 🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
- 50 g butter (2 x 25 grams + extra for brushing the dish)
- 2 medium onions (250 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 4 medium floury potatoes such as desire, russet or maris piper (750 grams)
- 1½ cup chicken, veal or vegetable stock (350 ml)
- 1 TSP salt
- 1 TSP freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 sprigs thyme, oregano or rosemary (leaves only, finely chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven).
- Peel and slice the onions and garlic.
- Melt 25 grams of butter in a pan and gently saute the onions along with the garlic and thyme on medium to low heat. This should take around 15 minutes until they are softened and slightly golden.
- While sautéing the onions, peel and slice the potatoes. Use a mandolin or the slicer attachment on your food processor to slice the potatoes. You can cut by hand using a sharp knife if you have enough time and patience.
- Brush an oven-safe baking dish (approximately 21 cm / 8.25" diameter) with soft butter and start building the boulangere potatoes.
- Nicely arrange about ⅓ of the potatoes on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle on half of the onions.
- Season with salt and pepper then arrange another ⅓ of the potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the onions, season, and nicely arrange the rest of the potatoes.
- Add seasoning, stock, and scatter small cubes of 25 grams of butter on top of the potatoes.
- Cover the dish with a lid or tin foil and cook in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid or tin foil and cook for another 30 minutes until the stock is absorbed by the potatoes and the top layer is crisp.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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