Potato Gratin with Beef Steak and homemade Garlic Butter

Hello dear readers,

I hope you all had the chance to enjoy the wonderful warm weather last weekend. We were so blessed with sunshine and mild temperatures considering it is only March! Let’s hope that the beautiful sun will stick around with us a bit longer.

I have to make a little confession: On Sunday night, I originally planned to make a simple but yet extremely tasty potato gratin with some nice ham, vegetables and Parmigiano cheese. In the afternoon I suddenly craved some red meet so I ran to the supermarket to get some nice beef steaks. I spontaneously made some garlic butter to go with it and in the end we found ourselves munching potato gratin, beef steak with homemade garlic butter and topped with rocket.  If you want to find out how I made it, read on!

Ingredients list:

Potato gratin (serves 4 people)

  • 750g new potatoes, boiled with skin on, ideally the night before
  • 250-300g good quality ham, cut in small bits
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • Bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 aubergine, sliced
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes on the wine, cut in halves
  • 250ml crème fraiche
  • ½ cup of milk
  • Parmigiano cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, Piri-Piri spice mix

Garlic butter (for 2 steaks):

  • 2 tbl butter, soft at room temperature
  • 3 crushed garlic gloves
  • Pepper
  • Piri Piri spice

In addtion, you’ll need for 2 people:

  • 2 good quality steaks
  • Good handful of  rocket for serving

Boil your potatoes, ideally the night before. Let them cool and down and leave loosely covered aside. Once you start making the gratin, peel the potatoes, slice them and put them in an oven proof dish. Heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the ham, peppers and aubergines and cook for 5 minute, stir regularly. Add tomatoes, stir again. Once everything is nicely toasted, turn off the heat and add crème fraiche and milk spoon wise. Be very gentle with the crème fraiche and make sure it’s not getting too hot since it tends to curdle when the temperature is too high. Season very well with salt, pepper and Piri-Piri. At last, add spring onions. Add the mixture to the potatoes, mix well together and top with freshly grated Parmigiano cheese. Cook in the oven for ca. 30-35 minutes at a medium temperature or until everything is bubbling and the cheese it golden.

Take a small glass dish and add the butter to it. If it’s still too hard, put in the microwave for 15 seconds. Smooth butter with a fork, add garlic, pepper and Piri-Piri (generously!). Put back in the fridge until serving.

Once your gratin is done, fry your steaks in a very hot pan according to thickness and how you like them. I like mine quite English so I’ll only fry a thin steak for 1.5 minutes each side. Add some salt and generously pepper.

Dish everything up, let the garlic butter melt on your steak and drizzle with some rocket leaves. I have to admit that the gratin was very rich this time. When I prepared it, I wanted to serve it on its own without the steaks. If you prepared it like I did, you can easily have it as a main meal. Or you leave the ham and aubergines aside to make it lighter. I make gratins quite often and usually I add whatever I find in my fridge. So if you want to use courgettes and mushrooms, go for it, the sky is the limit!


The garlic butter can be of course produced in larger quantities for a barbeque for example. It also tastes awesome on baguette, roasted/jacket potatoes or marinated chicken breast. You can be creative with this one as well. Why not try it with finely cut chive instead of Piri-Piri? If you use more butter, just remember to use more garlic accordingly.


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