Hearty French Potato Casserole

Again, another AMAZING recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine: Issue 115, March + April 2012.  The subtitle to this recipe is what intrigued us, “In the old days, this rich dish got its deep flavor and silky texture from meat drippings.  Could we get the same luxurious results without a roast?”  I don’t know about you but that sounds like an amazing challenge.  Well, we didn’t have to do the dirty work in figuring this out.  Cook’s Illustrated Magazine did all the hard work for us and we just tried it out.  What I personally loved about this dish was that it was rich with flavor without using cream that is both fatty and hard on the tummy.  It makes me think of another dish that I need to post in the near future, Shrimp + Mushroom Linguini with Cream Cheese Herb Sauce.  It’s another AMAZING dish that should be everyone’s back pocket.  That will come soon…until then, get ready for Hearty French Potato Casserole.


  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 1/4 tsp. of salt
  • 2 tsp. of chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups of beef broth
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled (NOT WASHED)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease 13×9-inch baking dish.

2. Cook bacon in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until crisp, 10-13 minute.  Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate.

3. Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot.  Return pot to medium heat and add onion 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and golden brown.  It should take 25 minutes.  You may have to adjust the heat and add water, 1 tablespoon at a time if onion or bottom of the pan becomes too dark.

4.  Transfer onion to a large bowl and add bacon, thyme and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper.  Now add broths to now-empty saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.

5. Slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick.

6. Transfer to bowl with onion mixture and toss to combine.

7. Transfer to prepared baking dish and firmly press down on mixture to compress into even layers.

8. Carefully pour hot broth over top of potatoes. Then dot surface evenly with butter.

9. Bake, uncovered, until potatoes are tender and golden brown on the edges with most of liquid has been absorbed.  This should take 45-55 minutes.

Meanwhile…prepare you main meal.  We made a marinated steak from Trader Joe’s and a Summer Salad!

Summer Salad


  • 1 bunch of arugula
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • 1 handful of strawberries
  • 1 avocado

Marinated Steak

  • 1 pre-marinated flanked steak from Trader Joe’s!


1. Let the meat rest to room temperature.  Tenderize it if you want.
2. Heat a grilling skillet (Le Creuset has an awesome one)
3. Over high-medium heat cook over 6 minutes on each side for medium.  I personally like medium-rare to rare depending on the quality of meat.  If you’re like me, cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
4. Let the meat rest on a carving board for a couple minutes and then slice and serve!


Now put everything together and enjoy!


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