This dish started out as individual Pommes Anna, a traditional French dish of thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a large amount of butter and seasoned simply with salt and pepper.It is usually served like a large cake sliced into wedges. The top and sides of the potatoes go deliciously golden and crunchy, while the middle is soft and smooth.
Every time I make it I’ve played around with the ingredients. As such I can’t call it Pommes Anna anymore, the purists would clutch their pearls at the idea of Parmesan cheese being included!
As potatoes can take, or indeed need, lots of seasoning, I’ve thrown the lot in here. There is garlic, bacon salt, thyme and parmesan. You can use regular salt if you like but I love the added layer of flavour with the bacon. When adding salt to this, keep in mind that the cheese will also be salty. You can always add more but you can’t take it out. You can use gruyere cheese instead of parmesan if preferred.
Useful tips & links:
- Use potatoes that are more waxy than floury so that they can hold their shape and not fall apart.
- This can be made ahead. Allow it to cool, cover with foil and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to gently reheat it.
- This is not a side dish to eat everyday. It is dripping in butter, but that is what makes it such a great occasional treat. I say that this serves 3-4 but if I’m completely honest, the two of us wolfed the lot down between us. Without shame.
Potato and Parmesan Stacks
- 4 medium potatoes, approx. 500g
- 70g of unsalted butter
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- The leaves from 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tsp of bacon salt or regular salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 10g of parmesan grated, plus more on top
- Preheat your oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6.
- Melt the butter over a medium heat and when melted, add the garlic, thyme, bacon or regular salt, pepper and parmesan. Turn off the heat but leave the pan stand on the cooling hob for 10 minutes to allow the flavour infuse into the butter.
- While the butter is melting, scrub the potatoes – peel if they have a thick skin – and slice thinly. I like to slice to 2-3mm thick.
- Use a pastry brush to grease a muffin tin with the melted butter. This makes 8-9 stacks.
- Pour the remaining melted butter over the potato slices and mix well to make sure the potatoes are completely coated.
- Start layering the potatoes into the muffin tin, pressing them down as you do to keep the stacks condensed.
- When you have layered all of the potatoes pour over any remaining butter and grate a little more parmesan cheese over each stack.
- Put the muffin tray onto a baking tray and cover it tightly with aluminium foil. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
- After this time, remove the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes to allow the top to turn nice and golden. They are ready when they can be easily pierced with a knife.
- Use a spoon to scoop each stack out of the muffin tray.