I know what you’re thinking. I can hear you crying out: “We’re sick of potato gratin!” You don’t mean it. This one has a mind of it’s own.
As a next step, I’m even envisaging it without the potato. Just a cheesy and rich cabbage gratin.
This pairs perfectly with the duck confit (that’s what we did, and it’s featured in the photo here).
- 1 large savoy cabbage, quartered
- 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly with a mandolin
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- Ground black pepper
- 2 cups Gruyère, grated
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add quartered cabbage. Reduce heat to medium-high and boil gently for 5 minutes.
- At the same time, bring another pot to boil with a steamer inside, and steam potato slices for 5 minutes or until par-boiled.
- Drain and use tongs to transfer cabbage quarters to a colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Allow cabbage to cool in colander until you can handle the wedges. Core the wedges, then cut them in half lengthwise. Finally, slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. Return to colander and drain for another 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl with the potatoes.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart baking dish or gratin. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half and rub the dish with the cut surface. Then slice up all the garlic and toss with cabbage and potatoes.
- In a bowl, whisk together milk, crème fraîche, about 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Pour into bowl with cabbage and potatoes, add cheeses and sage, and gently toss together. Scrape into baking dish.
- Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until top is golden brown. During the first 45 minutes, press the vegetables down into the liquid in the baking dish every 10 to 15 minutes, using the back of a large spoon. The gratin will still be bubbling when you remove it from the oven, and you will see liquid in the baking dish. Wait 10 to 15 minutes before serving, until liquid is reabsorbed. If liquid remains in dish, serve with a slotted spoon.
This is actually the perfect holiday dish. It’s superbly easy, and you get lots of credit because it’s incredibly tasty and moist.
Plus, you get duck fat leftover, which means you can cook your eggs in it a few times, or make a potato gratin with the fat (unforgettable).
You’ll want to serve it with some cheesy potato gratin (or potato cabbage gratin), and a fresh green salad made with some bitter greens like arugula.
Lastly, a disclaimer: I’m not 100% proud of this photo… in my defence, it was dark out so we had no natural light. It’s no reflection on how delicious the final result was!
- 8 moulard duck legs (not trimmed)
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 1.5 teaspoons of thyme
- 1.5 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 24 hours before you are ready to cook, mix together all of the ingredients for the rub, and rub it into the duck legs, which are laid out on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- At least 3.5 hours before you want to eat, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Place the duck legs fat side down (note, that’s NOT skin side down), in a thick pan over medium heat. Let cook for 20 minutes, or until ¼ inch of fat is in the bottom of the pan.
- Flip all of the legs so they are skin side up, cover the pan with foil (if you feel they need more space you can transfer to a baking sheet at this stage), and bake at 325f for 2 hours.
- Remove the foil, and cook for one further hour.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.