Dinner with Bittman: Bean and Potato Gratin

Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything.

Bean and Potato Gratin

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 1 1/2 hours with cooked beans, largely unattended

This dish is based on boulangerie potatoes, a French classic that was traditionally baked at the local baker’s until the potatoes became meltingly soft and the stock reduced to a rich glaze. With beans, it could easily be a main course or remain a side dish.

Other beans you can use: pink or red beans.

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

3 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained but still moist

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 medium starchy or all-purpose potatoes, peeled

1 cup chicken, beef, or vegetable stock or water

3 tablespoons butter

1. Heat the oven to 325°F. Stir a tablespoon of the thyme into the beans, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Spread the beans into the bottom of a large baking dish and set aside.

2. Halve the potatoes lengthwise and slice thinly into half-circles. Lay the potatoes in overlapping rows to cover the beans. Pour the stock over the top, dot with pieces of butter, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining thyme.

3. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is browned and glazed, another 45 minutes or so. Serve immediately or let rest for up to an hour and serve at room temperature.




Posted in Italian, Recipes


  1. JeanettesHealth said...

    This sounds like it would make a delicious vegetarian dish as well, just using olive oil and vegetable stock instead.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I just made this tonight. It was the main dish, with a pile of broccoli, for my vegetarian teen, and a side with broccoli and pork chops for the rest of the family. It was a huge success, as we try to eat together as a "blended" vegetarian/omnivore family. I used vegetable stock, and the teen daughter rated it "bangin’." (That’s very good, if you don’t have a teen.) I went back to the kitchen and sopped up the juice in the bottom of the dish with a piece of bread. Excellent.

  3. Dee said...

    This dish didn’t work at all for me. The potatoes weren’t finished cooking after 1.5 hours, and there’s a ton of liquid in the bottom, with dried out potatoes and beans on top.
    Doesn’t au gratin mean with grated toppings like cheese or breadcrumbs on top?
    very disappointing

  4. Patents guy said...

    What are pink beans please?

  5. SJ said...

    I took Rancho Gordo’s Silvia beans and made this. I used my homemade ham stock, but, with the broth from the Silvia beans being so delicious I’ll just use water to moisten next time. The potatoes made a lovely crust on top. My favorite part is that those Silvia beans keep their shape and have a nice, al dente texture, even though they cooked for so long, at first simmered til done, and then for 2 hours in the oven in this recipe. It got a “this is good” from my husband who normally only grunts and at best says, “It’s okay.” He’s now on his second bowl.

  6. SJ said...

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=617988471633353&set=o.25415388605&type=1&theater Perhaps this link will take you to the pic I took of this lovely, rustic dish. Thanks Mark!!! Love your stuff!

  7. Maya Hasegawa said...

    This is a great dish. My husband and I ate this as a main dish with a salad.

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