3 lb Russet potatoes
1 clove garlic (peeled, quartered)
¼ cup butter, softened
Salt & pepper
2 cups grated gruyere cheese
2 cups cream (light or heavy, but not half-and-half)
2 tsp fresh (or 1 tsp dry) thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 350℉
Peel your potatoes and slice them 1/8" / 3 mm thick (even slicing is mission critical to ensure even cooking - this is a perfect job for a mandoline
Using a small, heavy saucepan, combine cream, garlic, a three-finger pinch of salt and bring to a very low simmer, uncovered. After 3 - 4 minutes, fish out the garlic bits and discard.
Smear our Large Rondeau, a 4+ quart low casserole or large (~12”) iron skillet with about 1 T of butter and arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in the pan base, dose with 1/3 of the garlic cream, gruyere, thyme, along with light S&P and dots of butter.
Repeat with a second and third layer, finishing with gruyere.
If you're using the BCC Rondeau and you have the cover, here's where you'll use it. Otherwise, cover your pan with aluminum foil, slide into your pre-heated oven and bake for about an hour. Remove the cover to finish baking for 30 - 40 minutes, or until you have a nice bubble in the sauce and brown crustiness up top.
This dish benefits in flavor and texture by sitting, so if you're serving soon make sure you buffer some extra time to let stand uncovered, say 10 - 15 minutes, before 6 - 8 of you tuck in. You can also pre-cook this dish up to 48 hours in advance and oven reheat uncovered at 350℉ for 15 - 20 minutes.