Last week I finally broke down and purchased a new mandoline. I’ve had my eye on a larger one for a while, so I decided to treat myself. Of course, I wanted to try it out immediately, and potatoes au gratin is an excellent recipe for a mandoline! (I have definitely sliced potatoes by hand for this recipe before…and it takes a long, long time.) Since St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, I figured this recipe needed an Irish twist. The potatoes alone push this recipe into the Irish category, but I couldn’t resist adding a bit of Guinness, too!
I know you can buy boxed Potatoes Au Gratin at the market, but this is an incredibly easy recipe…and it tastes so much better homemade! After all, this recipe is primarily just potatoes and cheese, and it’s pretty hard to make potatoes and cheese taste bad! The Guinness adds a nice malty undertone that balances well with the smoked cheese. I know smoky flavors can sometimes overwhelm a dish, but the relatively small proportion of smoked cheese in this recipe adds the perfect amount of smoke flavor. (If you aren’t a fan of smoky flavors, then just substitute in different cheeses. Have fun with it!)
The bread crumbs in this dish provide a nice crispy top crust. Instead of purchasing bread crumbs, feel free to crumble up a couple slices of old bread. I actually used some two-day old Irish Soda Bread (raisins removed), and it worked beautifully!
Once this dish goes in the oven, you have about 45 minutes to relax…so finish the rest of the Guinness and toast a job well done. Cheers!