For holiday gatherings, one of my favorite tools to use is a slow cooker. It’s the best way to free up the oven for other items on your menu. Plus, I love being able to “set it and forget it.”
The secret to this recipe is the smoked gouda. It not only adds smokiness to the dish, but richness as well. Make sure to coat the inside the crock to prevent the potatoes from sticking.
Slow Cooked Au Gratin Potatoes
5 – 6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup onion, minced
3 Tbl. butter
3 Tbl. flour
2 cups milk
4 oz. smoked gouda, shredded
4 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
3 Tbl. parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper
Coat the interior of the slow cooker crock with cooking spray. Evenly layer the potatoes with the onions. Sprinkle each layer with a pinch of salt and pepper.
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, until the butter is completely absorbed. Slowly add the milk and heat for 3 – 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Do not allow the sauce to boil. Remove from heat and add all three cheeses at once. Stir until the cheeses have melted.
Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes. Cook the mixture on high for 2 - 3 hours and then reduce the temperature to low. Cook for an additional hour, or until the potatoes have completely softened. Total cook time in the slow cooker will roughly be 4 - 4 1/2 hours. There should be no need to stir during cooking. Serves about 4 – 6 people as a side. The recipe can be easily doubled.
Author's Note: It is very important to coat the slow cooker crock with cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking. This will totally save on cleanup time.