New York Times best-selling author, slow cooking expert, mom of three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Company's Coming Potatoes Augratin CrockPot Recipe




Day 22.

You know those little cookbooks they sell in the grocery store you want to buy, but you don't because you're trying not to buy things impulsively? My mom buys them. And she gives them to me. I love my mom.

I found these potatoes in one of the little booklets (no longer available online -- it was a side dish and casserole booklet!)

Dude. These potatoes rock. Paula Deen would be proud--heavy cream, butter and cheese. Not for everyday-- but for once in a while, my graciousness they are amazing.


The Ingredients:
serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 stick of butter (12 tablespoons)
6 tablespoons flour (I used Pamela's with no problems because we happen to be gluten free)
3 1/2 cups heavy cream (I've never before bought heavy cream. wow. that stuff is good.)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 teaspoons dried mustard
1 teaspoons black pepper
6 brown baking potatoes
2 parsnips (I've never bought these before either. I had to ask the grocer what they were.)
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I think this could be optional.)
green onion for garnish (totally optional)


The Directions:

--wash and peel your potatoes and parsnips. I chose to leave a bit of potato skin on for color and texture; your choice.

--slice them longways, then slice in 1/4 inch slices

--chop up white onion. Or maybe dice it? Make little tiny pieces.

--plop veggies into stoneware

Assemble your spices and measuring spoons.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add your flour, stirring constantly for 3-5 minutes. Then slowly add your cream, and spices, stirring continuously to blend.

Pour mixture over potatoes and parsnips, and close the crock lid.

Cook on Low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-5. My potatoes were still a bit crunchy at 4 hours.

Before serving, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until it disappears. I really don't think this changed the flavor of the dish at all. It probably thickened the sauce a bit, but it really doesn't add enough of a change for the cheese to be an important ingredient.

Garnish with green onion if you are feeling fancy.


This would be an *excellent* take-along for potlucks or holiday dinners when you want to bring something, but you aren't sure what exactly to bring.

The peeling and slicing of the potatoes and parsnips is the most time-consuming part. Next time, I think I would do that the evening before and then just heat up the cream and spices in the morning.


My kids each ate 3 servings. That is unheard of around here!

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26 comments:

The Mom of 'em said...

This looks SOOOO GOOD! I'm bummed that I don't have heavy cream in the fridge - I don't want to have to go out today to buy it. I bet if you added some ham - even that pre-diced stuff - voila - a meal! I wonder if you could use coffee creamer in a pinch instead of the heavy cream? anyone have any substitution ideas - cuz I really want to make this - TODAY! =-)

kelly said...

yum!

capello said...

::drooling::

Lynda said...

I've used canned evaporated milk in recipes that call for cream with no problems. I would use it use it in this recipe.

Jennifer P. said...

coffee creamer is not a good idea! Evapo. milk works well,so does half and half, or whatever milk you have on hand plus more butter. These look sooooo yummy! I guess I'd have to decide between eating these or dessert!

Canadian Saver said...

My message from earlier got lost :-(

I think these would be great as a treat from time to time!!! Definitely better if served with a lean meat and low-cal dessert!

Stephanie C. said...

You can't go wrong with all those real ingredients. I have no clue what a parsnip is, either. Your kids didn't balk at those?

Crockpot Lady said...

ha, stephanie! they would have if they had known they were in there.
They disappear along with all the potatoes, but leave a really nice peppery-oniony flavor.
hard to describe.

apparently.
xox
steph

Deborah said...

Oh, I'm so glad you commented on my blog so that I could find yours!! I need some good crockpot recipes, and I know where I'm gonna find them now!

megumimeg said...

Yum.
Yum.
Yum.

Anu said...

Yum! Yay for more vegetarian recipes.

Got to find out what parsnip is and then buy.

Amy said...

I think I might have a heart attack just reading the recipe, but they do look really delicious!

bhags said...

The potatoes looks yummy in the sauce.....seems i need to get a crockpot asap, after looking at your recipes....love them all

Jen said...

Yum! Made this tonight, I loved it.

Next time would add in more pepper/thyme and use less butter and hubby thought it was too oily.

But all in all, YUM!

tara said...

something i picked up on that it seems nobody else did...Potatoes Au Gratin...is cheese potatoes...i think if you remove the cheese, it just ends up being scalloped potatoes...food for thought =) i love the recipe either way

aioseh said...

i know that i'm late late late to start reading this blog, but i wanted to say how THANKFUL i am to see that you are using pamela's! i'm a novice cook and not very adventurous, so to see how you are using it is so very helpful!

Jessica said...

I wanted to make a potato soup today, and my husband wanted something cheesy, so I took this recipe and altered it a bit to make a soup. It is freaking awesome!

I used a 2.5qt crock (I have two now! This one and my 6qt!)
6 small white potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
6 baby carrots, sliced (did not have parsnips)
1/2 stick butter
3T flour
1 1/2c 1% milk
1/2c half and half
2T dry mustard
1t paprika
dash cayenne pepper, or two
1t seasoned salt
1/2t pepper
1t dill
3 bay leaves
10 oz queso blanco (same package as velveeta, just white)
1 chicken bouillon cube
enough water to fill the crock the rest of the way.

I took 1T of butter and sauteed the onion while I peeled, diced and dumped the potatoes and sliced carrots in the crock, tossed in a few bay leaves and the bouillon cube. I then crushed, chopped and added the garlic to the onion for the last few seconds and dumped it in the middle of the potato pile, so as not to shock the crock. I turned the crock on low and melted the rest of the butter in the saute pan, whisked in the flour and cooked it a minute or so until it turned light tan, then added the milk, slowly, while whisking. I then added the spices and the half and half and removed it from the burner and added some cold water to it and set it aside to cut up the cheese. I put the cheese in the crock and then poured in the liquid and added enough water to top it off about an inch under the lid. I cooked it on high until the potatoes were tender. Unfortunately I did not time it as I walked off and started doing other things. You can mash it all when it is done, but remember to remove the bay leaves!

I only use thyme in my swedish or porcupine meatballs (which I will be trying out in the crock soon!). I guess I got thymed-out too much when I was a kid. :p

Thanks again for all the great recipes! I hope you keep this blog around after the year is up, or warn us so we can save all the recipes first!

Julie said...

We made this today in the medium crockpot while the big one cooked up a rotisserie style chicken. There's nothing so homey as coming in from a long day of playing/working outdoors to an incredible roast chicken and potato dinner!

A few things we changed all due to pantry limitations:
regular milk instead of cream
a bunch of french's yellow mustard b/c I was out of powder and seeds seemed unreasonable.
No parsnips but we love them and will def. do those next time
Did the onion in big rings so the kids could pick them out easily
no cheese, no green onion

It was amaaaazing. Neither of us really like scalloped potatoes b/c it's just a creamy soupy blah...but these were so flavorful! And the extra sauce was fantastic as a dip for the roast chicken. A can of green beans on the side and we had one of the best meals in weeks.

Thank you, Steph! This site is a Godsend.

Christine said...

8 hours on low, really? My crockpot must cook hot because anyting over 6 hours for me and it's waaaay over done. I didn't see anyone comment on the length of time

Domino said...

mmm delish! I recommend getting a mandoline to anyone who doesn't have one. It's an investment but well worth it. Will make the prep for this go by oh so quick!

Amy said...

Oh. My. Gosh. This was so amazing. I did the same thing w/ the mustard as an earlier poster. Unfortunately my husband *and* children all have a thing about "mixed up" "mushy looking" things so didn't even try them. Their loss! Or my waistline's...these were so rich and oh my! I think I accidentally put in more thyme than was called for, but discovered I LOVE thyme (never recognized it as such in anything before), so it was just fine!

Scrappergal in Idaho said...

Can't leave out the cheese and still have them be called Potatoes Au Gratin ... because cheese is what makes them Au Gratin. But these sound delicious .. and to think as a child I didn't like parsnips but they're great in this recipe.

Jazzoasis said...

I have a new Rival Crock Pot and it runs hot as well even on low I shave at least 3 hours off the time. I'm anxious to try this. No lumps :).

Anonymous said...

For those of you searching for parsnips in the veggie isle...they look like large white/yellowish carrots. The texture is identical to a carrot's when peeled and chopped. The taste is good but hard to describe. I've never used them in a recipe before but my potatoes are in the crock pot now and I can't wait to try them!
-Erin V.

Tggrtoes said...

I brought these to a party a month ago and they were a HUGE hit... everyone raved and asked for the recipe. I felt very fancy. :) It was super easy except for peeling all those potatoes! Next time, I'm recruiting hubby for that job.

I think the cheese does make a difference personally, but then we're cheese people. I do think the parnsips add a nice anise (licorice) flavor, but I think they would be just fine without those... and they weren't the cheapest things in my produce aisle.

Kerry said...

This recipe turned out great last Easter except for the Thyme. It seemed to be too much and gave it a flavor that even I didn't like much and I like thyme. So this year i'm omitting the thyme. Otherwise everyone seemed to really like them and they turned out great - creamy. Makes Easter really easy to have something in the crock pot so I can spend time doing other things.

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