Creamy Dreamy Dry Stone Wall Dauphinois – Definitive Guidance To Enable Yours To Be Better Than Most Other People’s

“‘Bread or potatoes?’
‘Potatoes. You can do much more with them. I’m a huge fan of dauphinois'”

Chef Jeremy Pang, interviewed by Hannah Evans in The Sunday Times

The debate rages over whether waxy or floury potatoes are best used in a potato dauphinois. Assiduous testing by dedicated Saucy Dressings researchers reveals that King Edward or Maris Piper FLOURY potatoes are best for dauphinois, while WAXY are best for Lyonnais. Follow this link for the full debate and this link for the guide to potato types.

The term ‘dauphinois’ indicates that the vegetable has been cooked in milk or cream. The creaminess of these potatoes makes them an excellent partner for food which tends to be dry and might need a bit of sauce.

If you are still struggling with a nutmeg grater which grates your fingers instead of the nutmeg, or which falls to bits in your hands, go to best nutmeg grater.

One really luxurious version of this involves adding a tablespoon of good quality truffle oil (the type that’s seen a truffle) to the cream, and sprinkling some grated gruyère over the top of the dish before cooking. Another adds stilton and dried figs or prunes.

Waverley Root suggests milk and gruyère describing his method thus:

“Thinly sliced potatoes are moistened with boiled milk and beaten egg, seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and mixed with grated cheese, of the Gruyère type. The potatoes are then put into an earthenware dish which has been rubbed with garlic and then buttered, spotted with little dabs of butter, and sprinkled with more grated cheese. It is then cooked slowly in not too hot an oven.”

Waverley Root, The Food of France
dauphinois potatoes
Why dry stone wall potatoes? Because that’s the way you have to build them up – as if you were making a dry stone wall – and it’s quite a skill! It’s all in the recipe.

Recipe for creamy dreamy dry stone wall dauphinois

Serves 4


  • 8 x King Edward or Maris Piper FLOURY* potatoes (about 2.5 kg/5½ lbs)
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints/4¼ cups double cream
  • a couple of knobs/one tenth of a packet/ about 25g room temperature butter
  • ground nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed with
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • Indonesian long pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (use the middle shelf of the bottom right oven for Aga owners).
  2. Peel the potatoes and slice to about 0.5cm/¼” thick.
  3. Find an ovenproof dish which is big enough to allow at least 2cm/1” to spare at the top. This gives room for the cream to puff up without it spilling over and making a complete mess of the oven.
  4. Butter this baking dish well.
  5. Put a layer of potatoes in the dish, cutting the slices to fit big gaps…imagine you are making a stone wall!
  6. A few grinds of nutmeg, salt, pepper, and a quarter of the crushed garlic.
  7. Go on layering – depending on your dish you will have about four layers.
  8. Pour over the double cream, making sure it gets into all the chinks and crevices (of your dry stone wall)
    DO NOT pour in so much cream that it covers the surface of the top layer of potatoes… the cream will bubble up, bringing with it the seasoning from below.
  9. Bake until golden for about an hour.
dauphinois potatoes
dauphinois potatoes
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