For the spiced cream:
3 cups heavy cream
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried chives
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
For the potatoes:
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch slices
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 1/2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
6-8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 8 cubes
Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Step 2 - Grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.
Step 3 - Add the heavy cream, the onion, the bay leaves, the garlic, the parsley, the chives, the thyme, the cayenne pepper, the nutmeg, the salt, and the pepper into a saucepan.
Step 4 - Bring the cream mixture to a gentle simmer and simmer until thickened and the flavors have melded together, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 5 - Place the potatoes in a large bowl.
Step 6 - Spoon just enough of the herbed cream mixture to cover the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.
Step 7 - Pour the remaining cream mixture over the potatoes, tossing to coat.
Step 8 - Using a slotted spoon, layer the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/3 of the potato slice mixture, leaving the majority of the cream in the bowl.
Step 9 - Season the potato layer with the salt and the pepper.
Step 10 - On top of the potato layer in the casserole dish, layer 1 cup of the cheese, 1/2 of the bacon, and 1/3 of the cream in the bowl.
Step 11 - Repeat the layers, starting with the potatoes and ending with the cream.
Step 12 - Top the casserole with the remaining potato slices.
Step 13 - Pour the remaining cream over the potatoes.
Step 14 - Dot the potatoes with the butter.
Step 15 - Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 1 hour.
Step 16 - Remove the foil and sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.
Step 17 - Bake uncovered until the potatoes are tender in the center and the cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes.
Step 18 - Turn on the broiler and broil until golden brown on top, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 19 - Serve hot.
Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yield: 8 servings