If you are looking for a great change to your typical potato side dishes, this amazing casserole-type potato dish is for you! Boulangère Potatoes, also known as Pommes Boulangère, are made with simple everyday ingredients and require no special equipment, but are definitely flavoursome and elegant enough even for the most special of occasions. What is more, this French Onion Potato Bake is extremely versatile, making it a perfect accompaniment for a range of meats, poultry and vegetarian recipes.
- Why You Will Love These French Potatoes?
- But What Are Boulangere Potatoes?
- Ingredients and Variations
- Best Potatoes For Pommes Boulangere
- Extra Tips & Tricks
- What To Serve With Boulangere Potatoes?
- Storage and Reheating
- Other Delicious Potato Side Dishes
- Recipe Card
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Why You Will Love These French Potatoes?
If you love French potato dishes, like Pommes Anna and Dauphinoise Potatoes, this bake will be a great alternative. There are so many reasons to love it:
- No special equipment is needed. Whilst you can use a slicer attachment on your food processor, or a mandolin to slice the potatoes, a sharp knife and a cutting board will do just fine. You will also need a large frying pan and an ovenproof dish.
- You can easily play around to find your perfect flavours by varying the type of stock you use, herbs and cheese.
- Pommes Boulangere is a perfect side dish for many different meat, poultry and vegetarian mains. Try it with Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, Braising Steak or Vegetarian Nut Roast.
- This traditional French dish is made with just 6 main ingredients that most of you will have in your cupboards already!
- Easily made gluten-free (check that your stock is GF) or dairy-free (use plant-based butter and cheese) to cater for different dietary requirements.
But What Are Boulangere Potatoes?
Origins & Short History
Boulangère potatoes, also known as potato and onion bake or gratin, is a classic French dish that dates back to the 19th century. The name “Boulangère” refers to the baker’s wife, as this dish was traditionally cooked in the baker’s oven while the bread was baking. However, this delicious potato dish can easily be made in your own ovens (no need to run to the local baker).
The simple yet delicious recipe consists of thinly sliced potatoes and onions, layered in a dish with garlic, herbs, and sometimes cheese, before being baked in the oven until golden and crispy on top. This comforting and hearty dish is still popular in French cuisine and is often served with roast chicken or beef.
What Does Boulangere Mean In Cooking?
In cooking, the French word “Boulangère” refers to a French style of cooking where thinly sliced potatoes and onions are layered in a baking dish and baked with broth or stock until the vegetables are tender and the top is golden and crispy. The term “Pommes Boulangère” means “baker’s potatoes” in French, and this dish got its name because it was traditionally cooked in the baker’s oven while bread was being baked. Today, Boulangère-style dishes are still popular in French cuisine and can be made with various vegetables and ingredients to create delicious, comforting, and hearty meals.
Ingredients and Variations
Six simple ingredients (plus seasoning) and you will have a French potato side dish like no other. Here’s what you will need:
- potatoes: white starchy potatoes work best in this recipe. Read more about the types of potatoes best for this bake in the section below.
- butter: salted or unsalted – you choose!
- brown onions: 1 large or 2 smaller ones. You may substitute it with white onion or shallots.
- fresh rosemary: can be replaced with fresh thyme sprigs or sage leaves.
- vegetable stock: can be replaced with chicken stock.
- parmesan cheese: you may use Padana Grano, Pecorino Romano, Gruyere or other hard or semi-hard cheese. Even sharp mature cheddar will work well too!
- seasoning: salt and black pepper.
Best Potatoes For Pommes Boulangere
This classic French dish is best made with floury potatoes, which have high starch content (as opposed to waxy potatoes). Similarly to Dauphinoise potatoes and Lyonnaise potatoes, layers of potatoes need to cook through in the oven, and, therefore, you don’t want a firm variety of potatoes that will take a long time to cook. For this reason, we recommend the following potato types:
- Maris Piper
- King Edward
These tried and tested potato types will make the best gratin dishes, including potatoes boulangère.
Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish with a little butter or olive oil (we used 21x21cm ceramic dish).
Prepare the stock and set it aside (no need to keep it hot).
Cut the potatoes into thin slices (about 3mm thick).
Melt the butter in a large frying pan on low heat. Add the sliced onion and finely chopped rosemary. Stirring occasionally, sautee the onions for 7-8 minutes, until soft, but not browned.
Place a single layer of potatoes (slightly overlapping) to the base of the greased ovenproof dish. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add a layer of onions on top.
Repeat with the layers again and again, and finish with a layer of potatoes.
Place a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish, season with salt and black pepper, and then follow with a layer of the onion mixture.
Pour the vegetable stock over the layered potatoes. Scatter the grated parmesan on top.
Place the potatoes in the oven for 55-60 minutes. Potato slices should be soft and the top layer golden brown.
Extra Tips & Tricks
- Choose high-quality flavorful stock (homemade is always best), but if you’re using a stock cube, make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure enough seasoning is added to this potato onion bake.
- Your sliced potatoes need to be thin. As we are cooking raw potatoes in cooking liquid in the oven without parboiling them first, we need to ensure the potato slices cook through in time. The thinner you slice them, the quicker they will cook.
- Ensure to put in the hard work and layer the dish properly. A single layer of potatoes and seasoning followed by a single layer of buttery onions will ensure an even distribution of flavour and textures.
- If the top layer of potatoes isn’t browning enough to your liking, place the baking dish under the grill for a couple of minutes.
What To Serve With Boulangere Potatoes?
A hugely versatile side dish, pommes boulangère, can be served with a variety of meat, poultry and even fish dishes. It is a perfect accompaniment to a traditional British Sunday lunch (a.k.a. Sunday Roast Dinner). Perfect for special occasions too, this soft buttery potato dish goes particularly well with Easter leg of lamb or roast beef, as well as roast chicken and turkey. Here are some of our favourite recipes for you to try:
Storage and Reheating
Boulangère potatoes are an amazing casserole type dish that features thinly sliced potatoes and onions, baked until golden and crispy on top. So if you made a big batch, we don’t blame you!
Can Boulangere Potatoes Be Made In Advance?
Having searched the Internet, it seems that many people find that the dish tastes even better the next day as the flavours have had time to meld together. However, in our own experiments, we found that the potatoes turn grey, when made in advance.
Can You Freeze This French Onion Potato Bake?
Yes! Once cooked, cool pommes boulangere down to room temperature. Wrap well or place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can freeze cooked boulangeres potatoes. Once cooled, wrap well or transfer them to a lidded container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in a suitable dish from frozen. Probably for about 45 minutes, covered in foil to start then I’d check them at 35 minutes and if they are piping hot remove the foil, add some dots of butter and give it 10 minutes.
How To Reheat These French Potatoes?
Yes, whilst you can reheat them in a microwave, we find that we get the best results from warming the potatoes in the oven.
Place the potatoes in an ovenproof dish, cover them with foil, and cook at 160 C Fan for approximately 15-20 minutes from chilled and 35-40 minutes from frozen.
You may uncover the dish for the last 5-10 minutes for the top to crisp up again.
Other Delicious Potato Side Dishes
If you want the most delicious potato recipes, you have to turn to French cuisine. Dauphinoise potatoes, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Pommes Anna and Parmentier Potatoes are all among the most popular side dishes in the world, all featuring a humble potato. But if you fancy exploring other cuisines, why not try:
Boulangère Potatoes (French Onion Potato Bake)
- 800 g floury potatoes peeled
- 30 g butter plus extra for greasing the dish
- 2 small brown onions peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 sprigs of rosemary very finely chopped
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 60 g parmesan finely grated
- Preheat the oven to 160°C Fan. Lightly grease an ovenproof dish with butter (we used 21x21cm ceramic dish).
- Prepare the stock and set it aside (no need to keep it hot).
- Slice the potatoes into thin slices (about 3mm thick).
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan on low heat. Add the sliced onion finely chopped rosemary. Stirring occasionally, sautee the onions for 7-8 minutes, until soft, but not browned.
- Place a single layer of potatoes (slightly overlaping) to the base of the greased ovenproof dish. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add a layer of onions on top.
- Repeat with the layers again and again, and finish with a layer of potatoes.
- Place a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish, season with salt and black pepper, and then follow with a layer of the onion mixture.
- Pour the vegetable stock over the potatoes. Scatter the grated parmesan on top and place the potatoes in the oven for 55-60 minutes. Potato slices should be soft and the top layer golden brown.