Bernadette Raveneau’s recipe for Gratin of Potatoes and Gruyère, also known as Crapaudine, a traditional dish in Burgundy, from Rosi Hanson's book Recipes from the French Wine Harvest.
Potato and Gruyère gratin recipe
For 6 – 8 people
1.5 kg (3 lb) firm-fleshed potatoes (belle de Fontenay type for preference)
500 g (1 lb) salted pork back-fat
500 g (1 lb) grated Gruyère
Freshly-ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F, 220°C.
Slice the back-fat thinly and use to line a heavy casserole, taking care to cover the bottom and sides completely and reserving some pieces for the top.
Wash, peel, wipe and slice the potatoes, about 0.5 to 1 cm (¼ to ½ in) thick.
Line the bottom of the casserole with the potatoes and sprinkle with Gruyère. Season with salt and pepper.
Continue with these two layers, taking care to arrange the slices neatly. Lay the reserved strips of fat on top and start the cooking on the top of the stove – it needs to get really hot.
As soon as the fat at the bottom of the casserole starts to crackle, transfer it to the preheated oven.
Continue cooking until the top is golden-brown, then cover the casserole, reduce the heat to about gas mark 2, 300°F, 150°C and continue cooking gently for 2 to 3 hours, lowering the temperature if cooking too fast. It is important to spoon off the fat, which is copious, half-way through the cooking.
The crapaudine can easily be made in large quantities for a party. The amount of fat and cheese used should each be a third of the quantity of the potatoes.
Decanter recommends complimenting this dish with either a mature red Burgundy or Barbera.