Pommes Anna

Kevin Kindland

Kevin Kindland

21st February 2014

Pommes Anna

Pommes Anna or Anna potatoes, is a classic French dish of sliced, layered potatoes cooked in a very large amount of melted butter.
The recipe calls for firm-fleshed potatoes and butter only. Potatoes are peeled and sliced very thin. The slices, salted and peppered, are layered into a pan (see below), generously doused with melted butter, and baked/fried until they form a cake. Then they are turned upside down every ten minutes until the outside is golden and crispy. At the end of the cooking period, the dish is unmoulded and forms a cake 6 to 8 inches in diameter and about 2 inches high.[1] It is then cut in wedges and served immediately on a hot plate, usually accompanying roasted meats.
A special double baking dish made of copper called la cocotte à pommes Anna is still manufactured in France for the cooking of this dish. It consists of upper and lower halves which fit into each other so that the whole vessel with its contents can be inverted during cooking.
The dish is generally credited with having been created during the time of Napoleon III by the chef Adolphe Dugléré, a pupil of Carême, when Dugléré was head chef at the Café Anglais, the leading Paris restaurant of the 19th century, where he reputedly named the dish for one of the grandes cocottes of the period. There is disagreement about which beauty the dish was named after: the actress Dame Judic (real name: Anna Damiens), or Anna DesLions.[2]

Ingredients

  • 1 kg waxy potato, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 225 g butter, melted
  • salt
  • Pepper

Method

Slrice the potatoes as thinly as possible with a mandolin or sharp, thin-bladed knife. Butter the base of a round, ovenproof skillet or frying pan. Place one slice of potato in the centre of the pan and arrange the remaining slices around this, overlapping each one.
There should be sufficient for at least two layers. Season each layer after it is completed, and dot generously with the butter. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the base is golden brown (lift slightly with a spatula to check). Turn the potato cake out carefully onto a plate, and return to the pan, cooked side uppermost. Place over medium-high heat for 2 minutes before transferring to the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until tender and ready to serve.