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anna potatoes

Pommes Anna

Serves: 6 to 8

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2 pounds russet potatoes
1 cup clarified butter (see note)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for serving


Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes 1/8 inch thick, leaving the skin on. While you're slicing potatoes, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter to the bottom of the skillet and swirl to coat. Arrange a single layer of potatoes to completely cover the bottom of the skillet, working in a circular pattern. Drizzle with another 2 tablespoons of clarified butter and add another layer of potatoes. Lightly season the potatoes with salt and pepper, and repeat the process with the remaining potatoes, seasoning with salt and pepper every two layers.

Without moving the potatoes, let them cook over medium heat until a golden crust forms on the bottom. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and continue to cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Place an inverted plate over the skillet and flip potatoes onto the plate, browned side-up. Carefully slide the potatoes, still browned side-up, into the skillet, transfer to the oven, and bake until the potatoes are crisp, about 15 minutes. Carefully slide out onto a cutting board and let cool slightly before slicing into wedges. Serve with chopped chives.

Photo: Ramona King

About the recipe

Almost like a layered potato cake, Pommes Anna is a classic and elegant French side that can easily serve a small crowd — on a budget.

Be sure to not rinse the potatoes after slicing them, as the starch on the surface is what binds the layers of the potato cake together. For the most uniformly thin potatoes, you’ll need a French or Japanese mandoline.

Clarified butter is made by simmering butter to separate the butterfat from the milk solids, then discarding the milk solids, leaving behind a translucent, gold-colored portion of butterfat. It’s less likely to burn without the milk solids and is used when a minimal amount of browning is desired. It’s easiest to clarify one pound of butter, then reserve any excess to store in the refrigerator. (Use it for hollandaise sauce!) If you do not want to make your own clarified butter, look for ghee in the supermarket instead.

You can make this dish a day in advance, then warm it in the oven before serving.