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Blue Cheese Potato-Pear Gratin

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Sweet pears and salty blue cheese mingle with a bitter pale ale reduction in this novel take on scalloped potatoes. It’s the perfect holiday side, but you can morph it into a weeknight dinner by layering in diced cooked ham. When you dish it up, the gratin may look saucy, but once you spoon it onto your plate, you’ll be happy it is.

Makes: 8

  • 1 12-ounce bottle pale ale
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold or russet potatoes
  • 2 medium pears, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 34 cup crumbled blue cheese


 1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-8-inch casserole dish. Using a knife or mandolin, thinly slice the potatoes to about 1/16-inch thick.

2. Bring the beer to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, combine the butter and garlic and cook until melted. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to incorporate evenly. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in the cream and increase heat to medium. Cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the beer reduction, salt and pepper.
4. Layer 1/3 of the potato mixture and 1/3 of the pears in the bottom of the casserole dish, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the cheese. Follow with another layer of 1/3 of the potatoes, 1/3 of the pears, and 1/4 cup cheese, then the remaining potatoes and pears. Drizzle the beer mixture over the top, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and cover with foil. Bake until the potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Uncover and bake 15 minutes more, watching the top carefully so the cheese doesn’t burn. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.


Choose a American Pale Ale for this recipe

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