Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin

These Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin feature layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with two types of delicious Mahón-Menorca cheese!

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Mahon-Menorca Cheese and Thought for Food & Son to create this Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin post.  The recipe and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!

These Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin feature layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with two types of delicious Mahón-Menorca cheese!I’ve always been fascinated how local environments impact the flavor of our food.  Take sourdough bread for example.  Sourdough is made from wild yeast captured from the local air.  As such, a sourdough made in San Francisco could very well taste different than a sourdough made in upstate New York.  Sure, the general sour taste will be there, but there could be slight differences due to the variation of wild yeasts in these areas.  I personally love sourdough bread, but I’ve yet to eat sourdough bread made in San Francisco.  That’s on my foodie bucket list!

Mahón-Menorca CheeseMahón-Menorca cheese

Another item on my foodie bucket list: see how Mahón-Menorca cheese is made.  Mahón-Menorca cheese is made on the small island of Menorca, one of the Balearic Islands located off the eastern coast of Spain.  According to historical records, cheese has been made on Menorca dating back to 3000 BC.  Owing in part to this long history of cheese-making, Mahón-Menorca cheese is now well respected within not only Spain but the rest of Europe as well.

Mahón-Menorca CheeseThe island of Menorca is only about 300 square miles, and its fields are irrigated largely by rainfall.  Thus, the grasses and pastures on Menorca have a higher sea salt content.  The dairy cattle on Menorca eat these grasses, and this in turn gives Mahón-Menorca cheese a unique, slightly salty flavor.  I love all cheeses, and I’ve got to say that Mahón-Menorca cheese is delicious!

Mahón-Menorca CheeseAnother unique aspect of Mahón-Menorca cheese is the way it’s aged.  Mahón-Menorca cheese is produced in 3 different degrees of maturity: Tender-Soft (aged 21-60 days), Semi-Cured (aged 2-5 months) and Cured-Hard (aged 5+ months).  I found it quite interesting how the flavor profile of the cheese changed based on the length of maturity.  The Soft Mahón-Menorca cheese is light, buttery and quite tasty.  The Cured Mahón-Menorca cheese, noted by its light brown rind, is more pungent but also delicious.  The flavor profile of the Semi-Cured cheese falls in between.  All are unique, and all are delicious!

Mahón-Menorca CheeseCheesy Potatoes au Gratin

For these Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin, I decided to reach back into my mother’s recipe binder for her famous (at least within our family) potatoes au gratin recipe.  Now I realize that calling this recipe Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin is a bit of a repetition as ‘au gratin’ itself means covered with cheese and/or breadcrumbs.  But, hey, this Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin is made with 2 types of Mahón-Menorca cheese, so the name works.  It’s a cheesy recipe, and it makes for one amazing side dish!

These Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin feature layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with two types of delicious Mahón-Menorca cheese!The traditional way of eating Mahón-Menorca cheese is simply drizzling the cheese with olive oil and a sprig of fresh rosemary.  However, the creamy texture of this cheese also lends itself to grating over pasta and potatoes.  So I grabbed my trusty cheese grater, and I grated off a bit of both the Semi-Cured and Cured Mahón-Menorca cheeses.

These Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin feature layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with two types of delicious Mahón-Menorca cheese!For making this Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin, I highly recommend using a mandolin to slice the potatoes as thinly as possible.  (The thicker the potatoes, the longer they will take to cook.)  From there, just layer the potatoes into a baking dish with milk & cream as well as the shredded cheeses.  After a little more than an hour, you’re left with a side dish worthy of company!  I also decided to sprinkle crispy bacon on top of these Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin because I love the texture as well as the taste of bacon when combined with cheese and potatoes.

These Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin feature layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with two types of delicious Mahón-Menorca cheese!As we kick off the holiday season, I encourage you to stop by your local cheese shop, grab a couple wedges of Mahón-Menorca cheese and then whip up a batch of these Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin at home.  Cheers, friends!

Want to learn more about Mahón-Menorca cheese?  Follow them on social media!
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Did you make these Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin?  Leave a comment and let me know!  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).

Looking for more cheesy recipes?  Check out these favorites, too:

Cheesy Spinach and Sundried Tomato Focaccia
Baked Chicken Chimichangas
Bacon Jalapeno Cheesy Breadsticks
Meatball Parm Grilled Cheese

These Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin feature layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with two types of delicious Mahón-Menorca cheese!

Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin

These Cheesy Potatoes au Gratin feature layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes covered with two types of delicious Mahón-Menorca cheese!
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 429kcal

Ingredients

  • cups milk 2% or whole
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • cups Semi-Cured Mahón-Menorca Cheese shredded
  • ½ cup Cured Mahón-Menorca Cheese shredded
  • 2 lbs potatoes washed and thinly sliced (see note)
  • 8 oz. thick-cut bacon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease a standard baking dish; set dish aside.
  • Using a medium mixing bowl, add milk, heavy cream, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper; stir until well combined.
  • Using a separate bowl, add the Semi-Cured Mahón-Menorca Cheese and the Cured Mahón-Menorca Cheese; stir until well combined.
  • Spread ⅓ of the sliced potatoes into the prepared baking dish. Pour ⅓ of the milk mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle ⅓ of the cheese mixture on top.
  • Repeat process with another ⅓ of the sliced potatoes, another ⅓ of the milk and another ⅓ of the cheese.
  • Finally, layer remaining ⅓ of sliced potatoes on top and pour remaining ⅓ of the milk on top. (Note: The remaining ⅓ of the cheese will be saved for later.)
  • Cover dish with foil and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.
  • While potatoes are baking, use a deep skillet to cook bacon until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and pat dry. Crumble bacon into a small bowl; set bowl aside.
  • Remove dish from oven and top with remaining ⅓ of cheese. Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top. Bake for 10-12 more minutes, or until cheese on top has completely melted.
  • Remove dish from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

If you have a mandolin, slice the potatoes ~1/8” thick.
For best results, use a baking potato such as Russet or white.

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28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We love Spanish cheese and have likely had this. I’ll check at our local cheese shop and see if they have Mahón-Menorca. We eat a lot of Manchego and we make a cauliflower and Manchego gratin, but never made one with potatoes and Manchego. It sounds wonderful with Mahón-Menorca Cheese.

    1. I was actually thinking about you when I wrote this post, Ron. I’m sure you can get Mahón-Menorca there in your area! The thinly slices potatoes combined with the tasty cheese a great combination. Think mac and cheese but with potatoes instead! 🙂 Thanks so much, my friend!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of Mahón-Menorca but now I want to see how it’s made as well. So interesting about the higher sea salt–I never thought about how something as simple as irrigation could change the flavor of the food I eat. I crave cheesy carbs all fall and winter (and spring and summer too) so I really want a big plate of these potatoes right now! Have a great week, David!

    1. Exactly! I find it fascinating how environmental differences like the proximity to the ocean can lead to differences in food. It makes sense, but it’s so intriguing at the same time! Cheesy carbs are the way to go, and this recipe is almost like mac-and-cheese…but with potatoes instead of pasta. It’s delicious! 🙂 Hope you have a great week, too, Kelsie!

  3. 5 stars
    I did not know that about sour dough! Who woulda thunk it ;)? I love hearing fun facts about food, which is probably why I love all kinds of food related shows. And you know I love cheese so these cheesy potatoes are right up my alley. Have to keep an eye out for that cheese…there hasn’t been one that I haven’t enjoyed. I would seriously want these ‘tatos for a main it looks that good, David. No side dish here 🙂 Hope you have a great week, my friend!

    1. I know! It makes sense, though, right? I mean sourdough is made from wild yeast, and the wild yeast here on the east coast is different than the wild yeast out on the west coast. Cheesy potatoes are always a hit in our house, and these are especially tasty! Thanks so much, Dawn…I hope you have a great week ahead, too, my friend!

    1. I’m all about foodie vacations! I love learning about food and seeing how various ingredients and foods are made. (And of course I also love eating said food.) Thanks so much, Kathy!

  4. 5 stars
    Dude! GuesS what??? I have two packages of Mahón-Menorca in my fridge right now – am thinking your version of your mom’s gratin needs to happen soon cos cheese+potatoes+bacon=life – right?!
    Hoping y’all are staying warm up there!

    1. Say what!? These cheesy potatoes are definitely calling your name then, Shashi. Talk about perfect timing! 🙂 And, yes, we’re staying warm(ish) after a crazy cold November. Hope you’re staying warm down there, too!

  5. 5 stars
    My husband used to work in the cheese shop at Whole Foods and now I’m wondering why he never brought home this glorious cheese to me! I definitely have to go out and get some! These cheesy potatoes are what dreams are made of! Totally drooling over this! 🙂

    1. Uh oh. I hope I don’t start any disputes in your house, Sherri! 🙂 Seriously, though, send your husband back to Whole Foods to get some of this cheese. It’s fun to taste the 3 different ages and how the flavors change with each. Cheesy potatoes for the win!

  6. 5 stars
    These cheeses look so lovely, David – I enjoy tasting cheeses at differing maturities, it really makes you realize there is an art and a science to cheese-making! And I did need a new au gratin potato recipe, so thanks!

    1. I’m with ya on tasting different cheeses, too, Laura. I find it fascinating to see how the flavors change as they age. So cool! And cheesy potatoes are always a favorite in our house. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we do! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    That’s actually interesting. I often wonder why sourdough bread always (almost) tastes different, but I’ve never linked this to yeast. Thanks for the explanation. And these potatoes? Gosh they look phenomenally good! We try to limit our potato consumption, but Christmas holidays make a great exception. What kind of Christmas would be without some awesome potatoes (Answer: less merry)? And like all the potatoes and cheese weren’t enough, you also added bacon. Excellent, David!

    1. Yup, it’s the yeast! Wild yeast changes in different parts of the country (and world), so sourdoughs baked in different regions should have slight differences in flavor. The holidays are all about yummy side dishes, and cheesy potatoes are always a hit in our house! Just don’t go and add any lavender, ok? Haha! 🙂

    1. Definitely look for Mahón-Menorca cheeses, Dawn! I believe it’s widely available at Whole Foods if you have one near you. Cheesy potatoes are always a hit in our house, too. Thanks so much, my friend!

  8. 5 stars
    Sourdough bread made in San Francisco is delicious! I was lucky enough to get some when I took a trip there in 2017. You will not be disappointed David! I love potatoes au gratin and I love your extra cheesy touch here with the Mahón-Menorca cheese! I’ve seen that in the cheese section here too in a local supermarket. Must try some. Yum yum! 🙂

    1. Ah, man! That sourdough in SanFran is definitely on my foodie bucket list. I love bread! I also love cheesy potatoes, and using the Mahon-Menorca cheese here was a fun twist on a family favorite recipe. That’s awesome that you can get the cheese in your area…pick up some for the holidays for sure! 🙂

  9. I’ll definitely have to look for Mahón-Menorca cheese in my market. It sounds delicious. I love a salty cheese and it’s so interesting reading about where it’s made. These potatoes look absolutely wonderful! I’d say with the bacon – that’s all I want for dinner! Thanks for sharing, David!

    1. Yes! Definitely keep an eye out for Mahon-Menorca cheese…it’s delicious. Not sure if they distribute in your area, but it’s worth looking! It’s a fun cheese for sure, and we really enjoyed using it in this family recipe. Totally brought back memories of holidays past! Thanks so much, Kelly!! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I’ve never had Mahón-Menorca, but now I must! And this gratin a perfect way to enjoy it. This is a perfect side for upcoming holiday meals, but, honestly, I’d enjoy a meal of just this gratin!

    1. To be honest, we totally made a meal out of the leftovers of this gratin! It was so cheesy and delicious. 🙂 And, yes, definitely keep an eye out for Mahon-Menorca cheese. It’s unique, and quite tasty! Thanks, Marissa!

  11. Gah! another cheese I have to find! There’s nothing much better than cheesy potatoes, and your dish is beautiful and so appealing. And by the way, get your butt to San Francisco! My favorite city in the US.

    1. Haha…tell me about it, Mimi! I feel like there are always more cheeses that I want to try. Mahon-Menorca is definitely one worth keeping an eye out for, too. Thanks for the tip on San Francisco. I’ll put it on the list for sure…I just wish it wasn’t the exact other side of the country!

  12. Potatoes au gratin has got to be one of my all time favorite things to put in my mouth. That creamy goodness is hard to beat… It’s a staple on our family’s Christmas table.

    I’ve never tried Mahón cheese but do like Spanish cheeses in general. Looks rather like Manchego to me, tastes similar, too, I wonder?

    1. I totally agree, Frank! Potatoes au gratin is a childhood favorite, and it was fun pulling out my mom’s recipe…but then putting a twist on it with Mahon cheese! You’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for this cheese. I love trying new cheeses, and this one is quite tasty.

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