Pommes de Terre à la Boulangère

Pommes de Terre à la Boulangère

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I first discovered this recipe at a local restaurant in Paris (served with lamb). With the little French that I knew at that time, I was still knowledgeable enough to know that boulangère or boulangerie meant baker or the bakery or bread shop. So, I asked myself, why is the dish named baker’s potatoes? I questioned many a Frenchman/Frenchwoman and the response was always, “C’est comme ça!…pommes boulangères!”

Well, I did some searching and finally found out why this dish is called “Baker’s Style Potatoes”. In the past (250 yrs. ago), a French family would fix the potatoes and then take them to the local bread baker to be cooked in the even heat of his oven.

The French love potatoes. In the local market there are so many names and categories: Belle de Fontenay, BF 15, Bintje, Charlotte, Pompadour, Ratte, Roseval, Samba and many others. 310 millions of tons of potatoes are cultivated in the world and France is the 3rd European producer. Potatoes are rich in potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins C, B1, B3, and B6.

Here’s a great and healthy casserole that is easy to make:

Pommes de Terre Boulangère
Potatoes Baker’s Style
4-6 persons
Cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • 4 tbsp. Butter

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp. Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning

  • 2 cups beef broth, heated (canned or made with bouillon cubes)

  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 425. Heat 2 tbsp. of butter in a pan, add onions and gently cook for 5-10 minutes. (DO NOT BROWN) Butter a casserole dish. Add the raw sliced potatoes, cooked onions, herbes de Provence (or Italian seasoning), salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour the beef broth over the mixture. The broth should cover the potatoes. Dot with remaining butter. Cook uncovered for 50-60 minutes in the oven. The potatoes are cooked when a knife inserts easily and all the liquid is absorbed.

(NOTE: A variation of this recipe is to sprinkle a cup of shredded Swiss cheese over the potatoes for the last 20 minutes cooking time).

Et voilà!

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