Elevated Potato and Minced Meat Gratin

Turning a classic gratin dish into a novel culinary experience requires a touch of creativity and an emphasis on rich flavors and textures. This recipe takes the traditional elements of a gratin and infuses them with layers of flavor, transforming simple ingredients into a comfort dish that’s both satisfying and elegant. Here’s a new version of gratin, designed to tantalize your taste buds and elevate your dining experience.

Elevated Potato and Minced Meat Gratin


  • For the Potato Layer:
    • 5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 1 teaspoon of salt (for boiling potatoes)
    • Water for boiling
  • For the Meat Mixture:
    • 500 g minced meat (your choice of beef, pork, or a mix)
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 1 bell pepper, diced
    • 2 teaspoons tomato paste for depth of flavor
    • 50 ml water to combine
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic for a subtle, roasted flavor
    • 1 teaspoon paprika for a smoky undertone
    • 1 teaspoon oregano for an earthy note
    • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
    • A sprinkle of chopped green onions for freshness
  • For the Custard Mixture:
    • 3 large eggs
    • 125 ml milk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon oregano, adding a herby fragrance to the custard
    • 150 g cheese, grated (choose a melting cheese for creaminess)
  • Topping:
    • 8-10 slices of cheese (e.g., mozzarella or provolone for smooth melting)
    • Additional grated cheese for that golden crust


  1. Prepare the Potatoes:
    • In a large pot, bring water to a boil with 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the diced potatoes and cook until tender but not falling apart, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the Meat Mixture:
    • In a skillet over medium heat, add a splash of vegetable oil. Sauté the chopped onion and bell pepper until soft. Add the minced meat, breaking it apart with a spatula. Cook until browned.
    • Stir in the tomato paste, water, salt, granulated garlic, paprika, oregano, and black pepper. Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it’s fully cooked and slightly thickened. Off the heat, stir in the chopped green onions.
  3. Assemble the Gratin:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • In a large baking dish, layer the boiled potatoes as the base. Top with the meat mixture, spreading evenly.
    • Place the cheese slices over the meat layer, covering it completely.
  4. Prepare the Custard Mixture:
    • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and oregano. Stir in the grated cheese. Pour this mixture evenly over the cheese layer in the baking dish.
  5. Bake:
    • Sprinkle the top with additional grated cheese for a crispy, golden crust.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is golden and bubbly.
  6. Serve:
    • Let the gratin sit for a few minutes after removing it from the oven. This rest period allows it to set, making it easier to slice.
    • Serve warm, garnished with additional chopped green onions or parsley, if desired.

This gratin recipe brings together the comforting heartiness of potatoes and minced meat, with the creamy richness of cheese and a custard-like topping. The result is a multi-layered dish that’s perfect for a cozy family dinner or impressing guests at a casual gathering. Its depth of flavor and comforting warmth are sure to make it a favorite.