What took me so long to include garlic into this potato bake still baffles me?! Nearly everything I cook has garlic in it! Anyway since the addition of garlic I have found that what used to be a side dish has now become our main course with the odd addition of bacon, peppers or/and mushrooms added into it too. (basically whatever I have to use up).
So here is how I make the basic version (which really is filling and tasty just by itself)
Cooking time: 15min on the hob
30-40min in the oven
900g/2lb potatoes, peeled
large pinch of ground nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp of garlic powder (or 2 crushed garlic cloves)
450ml vegetable stock
2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
300g grated cheese
Lightly grease a 9x13inch shallow baking dish . Cut the potatoes into thin slices.
Preheat oven to 200C, 180C fan assisted, Gas Mark 6.
Put the potatoes in a medium sized pan with the milk. Season and sprinkle the ground nutmeg over the top. Simmer gently for 15, or until the potatoes are tender. Do not boil as this may cause the milk to burn the potatoes at the bottom of the pan. Once tender put the pan to one side off the heat.
While the potatoes are simmering, melt the butter in a large pan over a medium/high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 4-5mins until soft. Stir in the flour until evenly mixed and sauté for another 1min.
Drain the milk from the potatoes into the stock pot and stir until combined. Add seasoning and the thyme too. Continue to cook for 1-2mins until the sauce starts to simmer (not boil) and thickens. Take off the heat.
Add half the cheese to the sauce and mix until combined.
Spread half the potatoes in an even layer on the greased baking dish. Cover with half the sauce.
Spread the remaining potatoes, evenly again, and then finish by covering with the remaining sauce. Finally sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top. Place the dish in the middle of the preheated oven for 30-40mins, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is browned.
Once ready enjoy it hot, cold, as a side dish or a main dish. Entirely up to you. Enjoy :-)