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Smoked Potato and Beer Gratin

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At Connecticut's Copper Beech Inn, chef Tyler Anderson rotates dishes like potatoes parisienne and truffled potato discs; for DRAFT, he takes his potatoes to the grill, then douses the fire with a splash of Harpoon IPA.

Makes: Serves 4

  • 4 cups small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup Harpoon IPA
  • 2 ½ cups white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups wood chips, for smoking
  • 1 cup Funyuns, crushed
  • ¼ cup shallots, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chervil, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • kosher salt, to taste


• Light an outdoor charcoal grill, adding wood chips to coals when they become ember-colored. In a bowl, combine the potatoes with the oil and salt. Grill the potatoes, covered, about 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Remove them from the heat and set aside.
• Preheat an oven to 400º. On the stove, melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add shallots and cook 2 minutes over medium heat, then add garlic and sauté 2 minutes more. Add the flour and stir until the mixture smells slightly nutty, about 3 minutes.
• Add the milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the nutmeg, Tabasco, and beer, then slowly stir in the cheese. When the cheese is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth, add salt to taste. 

• In a medium bowl, toss the cheese mixture and smoked potatoes, then spread evenly in an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan or casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Top the potatoes with crushed Funyuns, and bake 5 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle the chopped chervil on top.


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