Mozzarella, White Wine and Ham Potato Gratin


Dear friend,

You’re a student. You’re bound to have a half empty bottle of white wine lurking around the house somewhere (check under the sofa). If not, you can get a 250ml bottle of white cooking wine from as little as 98p from a supermarket (you only need 100ml for this recipe). This is my take on the popular French potato dish- a layer of potatoes topped with a layer of onions, and then another layer of potatoes, and then drowned in a creamy cheesy sauce. Yum. Once again, we’ll be using a bechamel (simple white sauce). Let’s go…

Portions: serves 4-6

Prep time: 15 mins           Cooking time: 1 hr 15 mins        Total time: 1 hr 30 mins

What you will need:

  • Baking dish 26 x 20cm (ish)
  • Baking tray
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chef’s knife
  • Potato peeler (or you can use a knife if you wish)
  • Scissors to cut ham (or again you can just use the knife)
  • Foil
  • Kitchen roll


  • 4 medium potatoes (sliced into 1cm thick circles)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced into 1cm thick rings)
  • 20g flour (plain or self-raising)
  • 20g butter (plus extra to grease baking dish)
  • 500ml single cream (or full fat milk if you’re low on funds)
  • 100ml white wine
  • 250g grated mozzarella (basically just one pack)
  • 200g smoked ham (chopped) (use normal ham if you prefer it)
  • 100g grated mild cheddar
  • 1 levelled tsp salt
  • 1 levelled tbsp mixed herbs

Let’s cook…

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/gas 4 and prepare all ingredients
  2. Using the kitchen roll, grease the baking dish with butter. This will ensure the potatoes don’t stick to the edges
  3. Layer half of the sliced potatoes into the dish. Next, separate the onion rings and layer them on top of the potatoes. Then finally cover the onion layer with the rest of the potatoes
  4. Now onto the white sauce. On a low-medium heat, melt your butter and once it has melted, mix in your flour and keep mixing for 2 minutes
  5. Bit by bit, add your single cream. DON’T STOP STIRRING! And don’t add any more cream until the mixture is lump free. White sauce complete 🙂
  6. Throw in the white wine, ham, salt and mixed herbs, then turn heat to medium and stir until the sauce begins to bubble
  7. Once the sauce begins to bubble, turn the hob off and remove saucepan from the heat. Stir in the mozzarella
  8. Once the mozzarella has melted, pour the cheesy mixture over the potatoes, cover with foil, place on baking tray and chuck it in the oven for 50 minutes
  9. After 50 minutes, remove foil, sprinkle your grated cheddar over it and return to the oven for 10 minutes more. Mozzarella, white wine and ham potato gratin done.

P.s. This dish can be eaten on it’s own, but I prefer to have it as a side to a main dish like chicken, fish or lamb. Also, the beauty of a bechamel (white sauce) is that you can pretty much add whatever you like. You can use any cheese, add tomatoes, all types of herbs, whatever tickles your fancy.

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