PANCETTA AND PORCINI POTATO GRATIN (Adapted from Closet Cooking)
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup boiling water
1 TBSP oil
6 oz pancetta, diced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp thyme, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1 pinch nutmeg
2 pounds potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thin (on a mandolin)
2 cups gruyere, grated
Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in the water for 20 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the water, reserving the water, squeeze the excess water from them and coarsely chop them.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and saute until it starts to turn golden brown, about 4-6 minutes.
Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and saute for a minute and remove from heat.
Bring the cream, milk, reserved mushroom water and nutmeg to a simmer and remove from heat.
Pour a bit of the cream over the bottom of an 8x8x2 inch baking pan and layer 1/2 of the sliced potatoes on top followed by half of the pancetta and mushroom mixture and cheese.
Followed with the remaining potatoes, the cream and the remaining pancetta and mushroom mixture and cheese and cover in foil.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until fork tender, about 55-60 minutes. Note: At the end of this step you can let the gratin sit at room temperature for up two 2 hours before continuing.
Remove the foil and continue to cook until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.
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