Overview

Pommes Anna is a classic French dish of thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a copious amount of butter. This version is a simpler, lazier spin on the classic and somehow manages to look even more impressive than the original. There is no inverting and flipping the potatoes back into the pan — a messy endeavor. Instead, the layers are placed in the oven and allowed to brown, curl and crisp up, emerging gloriously burnished, crunchy and flavorful.

We used an 8-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe; if you skillet is larger, just add another potato or two, and a bit more clarified butter. This dish is forgiving and is almost impossible to get wrong. You can peel the potatoes, if you like, or leave the peel on if you’re running out of time or feeling lazy — either way, they’ll taste delicious!


Ingredients

3 pounds russet potatoes (about 6 medium potatoes)

6 tablespoons clarified butter (ghee) or unsalted butter, plus more for brushing the pan, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves


Steps

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle.

Using a mandoline, cut the potatoes into 1/8-inch thin slices. (Do not place sliced potatoes in water; the starch is necessary to bind the layers.)

Step 2

Brush the bottom of a medium cast-iron skillet with some of the butter. Starting in the center of the pan, arrange a layer of overlapping potato slices over the bottom the skillet. Generously brush the potato layer with butter and season lightly with salt, pepper and a pinch of thyme leaves. Repeat until you run out of potatoes.

Step 3

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the potatoes are tender and crispy on the top and sides, about 1 hour. Run a small spatula around the edges of the potatoes; slide a large spatula underneath the potatoes to loosen them. Carefully invert onto a plate and cut into wedges; or cut into wedges in the skillet and serve.

From Olga Massov.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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Nutrition

Calories: 380; Total Fat: 15 g; Saturated Fat: 9 g; Cholesterol: 25 mg; Sodium: 300 mg; Carbohydrates: 48 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 5 g.