Potato-Leek-Cheese Gratin

I started making potato-leek-cheese gratins as a side-dish at Thanksgiving a few years ago. And while this year I am not roasting a turkey, I’m making this gratin again. There’ll be a slight change though. In the past I have always used crumbled local blue cheese; this year, however, I will be using goat cheese. This because I am not cooking a turkey at all this year: the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving gathering will be roasted leg of goat (two legs, to be exact), and it seems appropriate to goat it up elsewhere on the table as well. This is a really simple recipe—it’s not original: I’ve over time “averaged” a number of recipes I’ve seen online. There are some that have you boil the potatoes first, some that have you do complicated dances with temperatures. I, being a lazy bastard, do none of those things. But the results are tasty anyway. 


  • Potatoes: let’s say 2 lbs, peeled and sliced as thinly as you can manage.
  • Leek: one large or two medium; sliced lengthwise and then cut into thin rings (white and tender green parts only)
  • Crumbled cheese of choice: about 3/4 cup
  • Cream: 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil: 2 tblsps


  1. Preheat the oven to 375f.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute the leeks with salt and pepper until softened and slightly browned.
  3. Arrange half of the sliced potatoes in a round cast iron skillet (or pan of whatever shape you have), overlapping them slightly.
  4. Sprinkle half of the cooked leeks over the potatoes.
  5. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the leeks.
  6. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, leeks and cheese.
  7. If using the cream, drizzle it over.
  8. Grate some pepper over the top.
  9. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or till the cheese has completely melted and it’s all bubbling.
  10. Then remove the foil and continue to bake till the top is browned nicely.


  1. I prefer to use a waxier yellow potato of the Yukon Gold variety. I know some people like to use russets for gratins but I can’t quite wrap my head around the concept; my problem, I’m sure.
  2. You could use a mandoline to slice the potatoes thinly. I don’t bother; a very sharp knife does the job for me and I don’t need every slice to be of uniform thickness.
  3. Most people seem to use a mix of gruyere and parmesan in these kinds of gratins. I like to use stronger cheese to add some zing. Here’s hoping today’s goat cheese substitution turns out well!
  4. The last time I made this I sauteed the leeks in bacon fat. That was rather decadent but there’s going to be enough saturated fat on offer at our dinner anyway.
  5. Yes, if the roast goat leg turns out well I’ll have a recipe soon.



One thought on “Potato-Leek-Cheese Gratin

  1. Ah ha! This is what I will do with my leftover Yukons, leftover cream, stray leeks, and small hunks of Stilton and Gruyere. Timely. Have some leftover fresh sage and thyme too.


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