Béchamel potato bake

Who else is obsessed with potatoes?

Yeah, hi, so am I.

So – I can’t quite put my finger on why but – this recipe reminds me of something quite old-fashioned and French. It’s something about the combination of onions in butter and potatoes that takes me to the countryside, on some farm in France, in the 1800s, in a grand estate with ivy peeling and cascading off the sides of cobblestone walls…

Uh, sorry, got a little sidetracked in my daydreaming there… ANYWAY.

Needless to say, as you can see, this is a staple favourite of mine. It’s bloody quick to put together, with the longest part being the boiling of the potatoes. Chuck it into a baking dish, bake it for 20 minutes, and you’ve got yourself a warm helping of salted potatoes dripping in a beautifully French-style onion béchamel sauce… YUM.

For a nutty twist on my mum’s recipe, I throw sesame seeds over the top once it’s been baked. They give that subtle crunch every so often, and add a very delicate nutty flavour. Definitely recommended, but not a necessity. Enjoy!

 


Béchamel potato bake
Vegetarian

5 large potatoes
1/2 medium onion
1 cup milk/milk substitute
50g butter (or equivalent volume in oil, roughly 4 tbsp)
50g flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Sesame seeds

  • Boil your potatoes in their skins, and when they’re done peel them and let them cool down.
  • Slice the potatoes in roughly 4mm slices and lay in random into a baking dish.
  • Preheat your oven at this point to 200°C.

For the béchamel…

  • Heat up your butter in a high-rimmed frying pan on a medium heat, and fry your finely diced onion until browning and transparent.
  • Add the flour, and stir in nicely, before adding your milk slowly.
  • Stirring constantly, bring to a simmer and then reduce heat. Keep stirring once in a while for 15 minutes, and add more milk if it thickens too much.
  • Pour your béchamel over your potatoes, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top goes all nice and brown.
  • Add your sesame seeds, and serve hot!
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