Last week a report by the ‘World Cancer Research Fund’ found that among other things, bacon gives you cancer. The media gave this saturation coverage. At around the same time the German-based ‘Energy Watch Group’ concluded that global oil production peaked back in 2006. This barely got a mention.

Herby Potato Gratin

I suspect that the catastrophic events resulting from the latter will make the findings of the former fairly irrelevant. By the time the London Olympics come along we’ll be stoving each others heads in for the price of a gallon of 4-Star and bacon butties will be but a distant memory.

The future looks like it could be a little uncomfortable, so why not console yourself with this hot, cheesy, comforting herby potato gratin.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Serves: 4


  • potatoes – 800g – peeled and sliced thinly
  • gruyère or emmental – 100g – grated
  • parmesan – 4tbsp – grated
  • double cream – 250ml
  • full-fat milk – 250ml
  • garlic – 3 cloves – crushed
  • rosemary – 2 sprigs
  • thyme – 2 sprigs
  • butter
  • salt & pepper

Heat the oven to 160ºC/gas mark 3. Butter and season a baking dish. Put the cream, milk, garlic and herbs in a pan, bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Layer a quarter of the potato in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with a quarter of both cheeses. Repeat 3 more times. Remove the garlic and herbs from the cream mixture and pour over the potatoes.

Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Verdict: Potatoes and cheese? Can’t go wrong. We ate this with a rather novel steamed Romanesco and salad.

Drink: A bottle of red to accompany, several Leffes down the pub prior.

Entertainment: ‘QI’ and ‘Spaced’, series 1, episode 6 – the one where Mike gets thrown out of the Rough Ramblers and Tyres takes them all clubbing.

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