Julia Child’s Grated Potato Galette is a simple, but elegant dish to serve for any occasion. Think of hash browns on steroids! The Grated Potato Galette from Julia Child’s The Way to Cook is cooked to golden brown perfection. It is not only absolutely delicious, but also easy to make with a minimum of ingredients.
The Way to Cook is an incredible cookbook that has never failed to produce exceptional results. The Grated Potato Galettes are no exception.
Ingredients – Here’s What You’ll Need for this Grated Potato Galette
I used the following four simple ingredients for this amazing dish: Baking or russet potatoes, clarified butter, Kosher salt and black pepper. I could have also used olive oil in place of the clarified butter.
Preparing the Potatoes
It is imperative that baking or russet potatoes be used in this recipe. The reason is that the starch in the baking potatoes serves to hold the dish together.
It’s also important that the potatoes be cooked ahead of time and allowed to cool to ensure proper grating.
Therefore, before I left for work this morning, I steamed two large baking potatoes for about 20 minutes until they were slightly underdone. Then, I refrigerated the potatoes until I was ready to grate them.
Making Clarified Butter
I also made the clarified butter ahead of time. Clarified butter is pure butterfat–butter with the milk solids and water removed. Therefore, the trick in making clarified butter is removing the milk solids and water!
When I make clarified butter, sometimes the milk solids float on the top of the clarified butter, sometimes they sink to the bottom and sometimes they do both.
In the past, I made clarified butter in the microwave. However, one time when the butter basically exploded in the microwave, I decided to use the stovetop method. I wish I had taken a picture of this disaster to show you!
Anyway, I started by melting a stick of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat without stirring. Once the butter was melted, I removed the pan from the stove and let the butter sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes. This allowed the milk solids separate from the pure butter.
After 5 minutes, all of the milk solids had settled on the bottom of the saucepan. Therefore, I carefully poured the pure butter into a small measuring cup.
Making the Grated Potato Galette
- I started by peeling the cold potatoes. Then, I grated the potatoes using the large holes in a box grater.
- After that, I placed the grated potatoes in a large bowl. Next, I tossed them with a half teaspoon of Kosher salt and a quarter teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
- When it was time to start cooking, I added half of the clarified butter to a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Then, I heated the butter over moderate heat or medium heat for several minutes.
- When the butter was hot, I added the grated potatoes and pressed them lightly to form a compacted disk.
I cooked the potatoes over medium heat for about 13 minutes until they were golden brown and crispy on the bottom.
- Then, I carefully flipped the galette onto a plate and added the rest of the clarified butter to the skillet. I could have also used a baking sheet here.
After that, I slid the galette back into the skillet to cook the other side.
After another 13 minutes or so, the underside of the galette was perfectly browned and crispy.
I turned the galette onto a cutting board and sprinkled it with chopped fresh chives.
The Grated Potato Galette à la Julia Child was a perfect – buttery crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
Sometimes, I make individual galettes rather than a large galette. Also, sometimes, I add a dollop of sour cream on top of the galette. Double Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
A galette (pronounced guh-let) is a rustic, free-form tart made generally made with a single layer of crust. Once the filling is added, the crust is folded up around the sides of the filling. This grated potato galette is made without crust.
This dish is best made with russet potatoes because of the higher starch content which helps to bind the ingredients together. Therefore, I would recommend against using Yukon gold or red potatoes in this recipe.
The recipe for this galette uses only potatoes seasoned with salt and pepper. Latkes on the other hand generally include egg, milk and flour/matzo meal to bind the potatoes together. Potato pancakes are similar to latkes, but often omit the flour.
Both this galette and the Swiss Rösti are basically the same. The main difference is that the recipe for this galette uses par-cooked potatoes before whereas Rösti uses raw potatoes.
The galette may be cooked ahead of time and reheated briefly in a 425°F oven.
Julia Child cautioned against using a food processor. However, I’ve successfully shredded the potatoes into bowl of a food processor fitted with a large shredding disc.
Because the potatoes are par-cooked, it is not necessary to soak them in cold water. You want to keep the potato starches so that the potato mixture sticks together during cooking.
Grated Potato Galettes à la Julia Child (adapted from The Way to Cook)
- 2 large baking potatoes (1 ½ pounds total or about 12 ounces each) (See Tip 1)
- 1 stick (4 ounces, ½ cup) unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Steaming the Potatoes
- Several hours or a day in advance: Scrub the potatoes under hot running water; then steam them for 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are almost but not quite cooked. After 15 minutes, pierce one with a sharp small knife which should just penetrate. Cut one of the potatoes in half crosswise: if there is a raw central core, steam for several minutes more. (If the central core is not cooked through, it can discolor.) Let the potatoes cool uncovered or refrigerated; the potatoes must be thoroughly cold before you grate them.
Making the Clarified Butter
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat without stirring. Once the butter is melted, allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then carefully pour off the clarified butter. Disgard the milk solids or use for another purpose. (See Tip 2)
Grating the Potatoes
- Peel the cold potatoes and grate with the large holes of a box grater onto a baking sheet or tray. (See Tip 3)
- Toss potatoes lightly with a sprinkling of salt (try ½ teaspoon) and pepper (try ¼ teaspoon), leaving them loosely massed; set aside until time to cook the galette.
Cooking the Potato Galette
- Heat half of the clarified butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add grated potatoes. Cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, pressing the potatoes together lightly with a spatula, until the bottom has crusted and browned. Flip onto a plate; add remaining clarified butter and slide galette back into pan. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Cut into serving pieces. Yield: 4 servings. (See Tips 4 and 5)
- Russet potatoes work best in this recipe because of their starch content. Avoid Yukon Gold and Red Potatoes.
- Although you can use the microwave for making clarified butter, it’s a bit tricky. The reason is that as the water in the butter heats, it can cause the melted butter to “explode” causing a huge mess in the microwave.
- It’s best not to grate the potatoes with the food processor. The reason is that the consistency of the grated potatoes is not as good if using the food processor.
- The galette may be cooked ahead of time and reheated briefly in a 425°F oven.
- Rather than making one large galette, you can make individual galettes. Also, rather than flipping the large galette, you can brown the top under the broiler.