Pavé is the French word for “paving stones,” and it’s the word that chef Thomas Keller uses to describe any such rectangular or square food preparation.
Sara’s Pavé (and I’m sure Thomas Kellers’), is more refined than mine. My version, which includes a bit of grated apple for sweetness, is served as a rustic comfort food dish — my favorite!
This is well worth the preparation time. And if you ask me, it’s as satisfying to make as it is to eat.
This incredibly delicious potato dish would be an unforgettable side dish to add to your holiday table — or any table!
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
- 1-1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 4-1/2 pounds Idaho Russet potatoes (about 5 medium-sized potatoes)
- 1 medium-sized apple (preferably Fuji)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil for the pan
- A few sprigs fresh rosemary for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an approximately 11-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. (It should be at least 2-3/4-inches deep.) Use a wide enough piece of parchment, so that it will cover and rise a few inches above the sides of the pan. Use scissors to cut a diagonal slit in each corner, so that the paper lies flat in all areas. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, cream, rosemary, garlic and salt. Set aside.
- Cut about ½-inch of each side and each end of the potatoes. Use a peeler to trim off any skin that might remain.
- Slice the rectangular potatoes as thinly as possible. You can use a food processor with the slicer attachment, a mandolin -- or of course, a Chef's knife. Add the slices to the buttermilk mixture as you go, being sure to separate them so they all become well coated.
- Peel and finely grate the apple. Add it to a small bowl and then use a ladle to get about ⅓ cup of the buttermilk mixture, and pour it over the grated apple.
- Add the coated potato slices to form an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan; repeat process to form a second layer. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, sprinkle with about ⅓ of the grated apples and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Continue layering potatoes and adding the apple, a bit of salt and pepper and melted butter after every two layers until pan is filled, ending with potatoes.
- Fold the sides of parchment paper over potatoes, directly on top of them. Cover the pan tightly with foil, place it on a baking sheet and transfer it to the preheated 350 degree F oven. Bake until the potatoes are completely tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can test with fork or the tip of a sharp knife for tenderness.
- After you remove the pan from the oven, cut a piece of cardboard slightly smaller than the size of pan, wrap it with foil, and place it directly on top of the parchment-covered potatoes. Then weight it down with heavy cans -- as many as you can fit snugly on the surface. (Cans of beans, tomatoes, etc. are perfect -- the heavier, the better.) Let the potatoes cool to room temperature this way. Then place them (with cans and all), in the refrigerator for at least two hours and ideally overnight.
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator and take off the cans and foil-wrapped cardboard.
- Use an offset spatula between the parchment and pan to gently release the potatoes. Use the parchment paper overhang, to carefully lift it out of pan and onto a cutting board.
- Cut the loaf of potatoes into about 12 equal slices.
- Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive and place it over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add a few slices of the potatoes, cut-side-down. (If the pan doesn't sizzle when you add them, it's not hot enough -- wait until it is so it browns nicely!)
- Once the bottom is golden brown, after about 3 minutes, carefully turn and brown the other side.
- Arrange the slices on a serving platter with the browned side up, garnished with fresh rosemary.