Classic Potato Dauphinoise (aka a Very Good Potato Bake)

The ultimate French classic and a dish I love to make when Autumn is in the air.

The key to a good Dauphinoise is very good ingredients.

Organic Potatoes & Herbs:

Organic Potatoes is such a rare treat and I stock up whenever I can get my hands on some. Try to source old varieties from organic shops or markets as they have 10 x more flavour than the commercial shop-bought ones.

Ethical Dairy:

Dairy is controversial and with good reason as most dairy cows live miserable lives. I urge you to try to source milk from small scale dairies who treat their animals with the necessary respect and dignity. It’s important to remember that what any animal eats, you eventually eat so in terms of dairy it is important to source any dairy products from cows that live a life in open pasture grazing on grass (rather than grain fed in barns).

Because of the ethics surrounding dairy I have avoided it for many years and I am grateful for some fantastic dairies around me now that I am having dairy.

I absolutely LOVE and fully support the following dairies.

  • Maria from CREAM OF THE CROP – a micro dairy run by farmer Maria on her family farm. She delivers in Cape Town on a Thursday – get in touch (here)
  • GAY’S DAIRY in Prince Albert – she stocks her wonderful products in many deli’s including Olive Branch Deli and at Wild Organics (here) which also has a fantastic dairy selection all from micro dairies
  • DALEWOOD FROMAGE creme fraiche – online shop and in good deli’s like Olive Branch Deli


Classic Potato Dauphinoise (aka a Very Good Potato Bake)

A classic French dish where potatoes are slowly cooked in a garlicky cream sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Diet Gluten-free
Servings 6


  • 5 medium potatoes 1,5 kg
  • 1 large onion
  • 30 g good farmhouse salted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme leaves only
  • 300 ml pasture-raised singe cream
  • 100 g pasture-raised creme fraiche
  • 400 ml pasture-raised milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt & pepper


  • Pre-heat the oven to 170c.
  • Wash and peel the potatoes, then slice as thinly as possible (using a mandolin if you have one)
  • Halve, peel and thinly slice the onion.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion cover and cook on a low heat until soft, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant, add the sliced potatoes.
  • Add the cream, creme fraiche, milk, nutmeg and thyme. The liquid needs to cover the potatoes, if not add a little more cream or milk. Season the mixture really well, in fact opt for a 'tad' over seasoned. Bring the mixture to a simmer for 10/15 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften, release their starch and the cream begins to thicken, stirring often as the potatoes might catch on the bottom.
  • Have a final taste and season. Transfer to a buttered or oiled ovenproof dish, spreading the potatoes into an even layer and the milk mixture should lie at the same level as the potatoes. Bake in the oven for 1-1/2 hours or until completely soft and golden on top, the KEY factor here is - the slower the cooking the better the dish. To test if the mixture is soft, simply push a knife down - it should easily slide down with zero resistance .
  • Let the dish cool for a good 30minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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