This recipe was the product of comfort food cravings. Beef and potato? You can't go wrong. We had also just purchased a pound of ground beef from Tendercrop Farms that needed a dish (they have great fresh meats). Though Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking doesn't have many ground beef recipes, this one truly hits the spot.
Preparing the recipe takes about 30 minutes, most of which are cutting and peeling your vegetables and shredding the cheese. After making it through the whole block of Emmental I decided we definitely need a better grater for future meals.
I had to hold myself back from snacking on too much of the cheese. This Emmentaler from Emmi was very tasty. It is an aged swiss cheese that was recommend by the gentleman at the Whole Foods cheese counter. To be honest, these folks rarely point me in the wrong direction when it comes to ingredients.
The recipe includes three major steps: cooking the vegetables into a sauce, boiling and mashing the potatoes, and then putting everything in the oven to bake. The entire process takes just over an hour. Once the cheese has melted and the dish turns golden brown you've got yourself a complete Beef and Potato Gratin.
We didn't have a round dish so we used a rectangle casserole baking dish. Because of this, the gratin fell flatter than it would have in a smaller and taller pan. The flavors, however, were wonderful. The texture combination of the meat, potatoes, and golden cheese really satisfy the palate. Take a swig of red and you've got yourself one heck of a 'comfort' meal!
For this recipe we uncorked a 2010 Cellier des Princes from Cotes du Rhone Villages, France. The book recommends a white pairing but we love our red wine and don't feel this book includes enough of it. This award-winning wine is made with a robust blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, and Syrah. It is a wonderful dinner wine.