Potatoes boulangere garnished with a bay leaf and thyme in a ceramic pot.

Potatoes Boulangère

Who said that the French must have cream in everything? These boulangère potatoes are just like a classic gratin, but without the cream. The potatoes are slow cooked in an aromatic blend of onions, cooking stock and farmhouse smoked bacon. The result is a hearty dish of tender, melt-in-your mouth potatoes infused with a smoky onion and bacon flavor. This delectable side pairs well with any meat dish.
If you like this recipe check out The French Cooking Academy's cookbook which makes mastering French cooking easy for the home cook.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 to 6 people


  • cups 300 ml homemade or good-quality premade chicken stock
  • 2 lb 1 kg all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3 tbsp 45 g unsalted butter
  • 2 onions finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 7 oz 200 g smoked bacon, cut into medium-sized cubes or strips (lardons)
  • 1 tbsp 15 ml olive oil
  • Few pinches of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme


  • Mise en Place

Bring the stock to a light boil and set aside. Cut the potatoes in small quarters or medium-sized cubes, and immerse in a bowl of water. 


    • Grease a large baking dish with butter.
    • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat, and sauté the onions with some seasoning, stirring regularly, until lightly colored (around 10 minutes). Transfer the onions to a bowl.
    • Use the same skillet to pan fry the bacon for 3 minutes (no extra fat needed) until crisp and light brown, then drain on some paper towels.
    • Drain and pat dry the potatoes and place them into a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil, season and add a few pinches of nutmeg. Mix in the bacon and onions to distribute evenly through the potatoes.
    • Add the garlic, bay leaf and thyme to the baking dish. Fill the dish with the potato mixture and pour the warm stock over. Place the dish in the oven (the oven should not be preheated) and set the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Cook, loosely covered with parchment paper, for 1 hour, then remove the parchment paper and cook for 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are crisp on top. Let it stand for 20 minutes before serving.


    For an elegant dinner menu serve this with Creamy Chicken with Cider and Calvados and a traditional Basque Cake With Black Cherry Jam.
    Read more about The French Cooking Academy and purchase their cookbook, published by Page Street Publishing Co. 


    French Cooking Academy

    The French Cooking Academy was founded by Stephen Nguyen and Kate Blenkiron. Stephane is dedicated to making French cuisine accessible to home cooks everywhere. He stumbled upon the idea of French Cooking Academy almost by accident several years ago. As a Frenchman living in Oz, he yearned for the delicious flavors of his motherland and set out to master the art of French cooking in his own kitchen. What began as a bit of fun documenting his journey on an iphone has now grown into an acclaimed online cooking school with thousands of students from all over the world. Kate is the producer and creative director behind the scenes working hard to bring our content to life, from content planning to recipe writing and everything in between. Oh, and she’s the photographer behind all the mouth-watering photos you see on this website.

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