‘Tis the season of casseroles. We all have our dirty cookbook pages marked, begging to be opened and rediscovered because everyone just has to have YOUR green bean casserole or we have our unrealistic attempts of “something new this year” bookmarked on our laptops. Oh and don’t even get me started on the pies. As overwhelming as creating a memorable holiday can be, it’s good to have a game plan and here is your play by play for Thanksgiving….sike. I agree it’s helpful to have a game plan but unfortunately we live in a world of unpredictable chaos that can either make or break your day. That’s a lot of pressure for said game plan! My go to recipes are ones I can easily prepare the day or night before and all they need is a simple trip to the oven. Now, I understand some recipes would be hard to make the day before or even become not so appealing (I’ve made mac and cheese for 5 years in a row now for 10+ people so I get it) but maybe our chopping, slicing, and dicing can be done the night before just so you don’t accidentally hurt yourself on the big day. Not a sermon, just a thought.
You probably think that I’m some kind of mashed potato guru or that Thanksgiving day is my Olympics but let me let you in on a little secret: this was my second time making mashed potatoes…ever. In all seriousness, mashed potatoes have scared me and I always sucker my wonderful sister-in-law into making them. Pathetic I know. I decided to brave these taters and I’m oh so glad I did! I love french onion soup so I wanted to really stick to those simple but hearty elements of the soup. Meaty, dark onions, crusty croutons, and a gloriously cheesy topping. These potatoes were easy, cheesy, creamy and perfect for any Thanksgiving table!
Our ingredient line up:
From Top Left to Right: Butter, onions, heavy cream, fresh breadcrumbs, garlic, Worchestshire sauce, Gruyere cheese, fresh thyme, beef stock, and golden potatoes.
I didn’t mention brown butter is involved because I wanted to surprise you so SURPRISE! You can’t go wrong here. Embrace the butter. We add our heavy cream, fresh thyme, and garlic to the brown butter and let it simmer. You could just add this to the mashed potatoes and be done. But why would you want to be done when cheesiness is just around the corner?
But not this corner! Here, we have the “french onion” part. The onions are cooked down and drenched in Worschestshire sauce and beef stock making them nice and meaty. Think French Onion soup here. That is the inspiration after all.
Next, we layer out potatoes. Spread half of the potatoes in a greased casserole dish.
Add onions (making sure that luscious broth is also included), and breadcrumbs (our “croutons” here).
Then top with the nutty Gruyere. Rinse and repeat. Also, indulge every need to snack on the Gruyere as you cook. I always shred just a little bit more than I need for snacking. You’re the cook!
Now, I wanted to show you the delicious layers from this angle. Can you see the broth from the onions seeping into our wonderful potatoes? That’s magic and perfect moisture for our potatoes so they won’t dry out. Just bake this off in the oven.
Serve this hot! Right out of the oven! And I wouldn’t be offended if you added a little gravy from Thanksgiving dinner to these potatoes. Happy tater making!