Wild mushroom, potato & pancetta gratin

Wild mushroom, potato & pancetta gratin

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 45 mins plus infusing


Serves 6-8 as a side, 4 as a main course
Bake layers of vegetables and Italian bacon with thyme, nutmeg and double cream for a rich, warming one-pot - the ultimate comfort food

Nutrition and extra info

  • leftovers only
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving (8)

  • kcal650
  • fat52g
  • saturates31g
  • carbs32g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre4g
  • protein12g
  • salt2g


  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, halved



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus a sprinkle of leaves
  • 600ml pot double cream
  • 600ml whole milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 140g diced pancetta



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 25g butter, plus a knob



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 250g wild mushrooms, roughly chopped after cleaning



    The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct…

  • 1¼kg medium potato (we used Maris Piper)



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 1 whole nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • green salad, to serve (optional)


  1. Put the garlic cloves, onion, bay leaves, thyme, double cream and milk in a pan. Bring slowly to the boil over a low heat, partially cover with a lid and cook for 20-30 mins until the onion is tender and the cream mixture slightly thickened. Turn off and leave everything to infuse for 1 hr.

  2. Strain the cream mixture into a jug (or bowl) and discard the herbs. Put the garlic cloves and onion in a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth – add a drop of the cream if it helps. Stir the paste back into the rest of the cream and season with 2 tsp salt.

  3. Put the pancetta in a cold frying pan and cook gently, over a low-medium heat so the fat melts into the pan, until the pancetta is really crispy. Lift out with a slotted spoon, add the butter and mushrooms and turn up the heat, frying the mushrooms, until golden and dry.

  4. Leave the skins on the potatoes and slice as thinly as possible. Grease a large baking dish with a little more butter. Layer up the potato slices, scattering over some of the cooked pancetta, the mushrooms and a little freshly grated nutmeg and pepper as you go. Finish by slowly pouring over the cream so that it settles among all the layers, then scatter over a few more thyme leaves. Cover with foil.

  5. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bake the gratin for 1 hr, then remove the foil and bake for 35-45 mins more until golden and crispy on top. Poke a knife in to check the potatoes are tender, then leave for 10-15 mins to settle, before serving with a salad, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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dreamweaver's picture
9th Jan, 2016
Takes a while and can be a bit fiddly but we all always have sparkling clean plates after!
18th Mar, 2015
This recipe is one of me and my partner's favourites! Because I'm allergic to cow's milk I replace the milk, butter and cream with almond and soya alternatives, and it's still absolutely lush. One bit of advice though; this recipe is way more complicated than necessary. I am sure following the steps exactly might add an extra edge in flavour, but you can take several shortcuts to speed things up for normal people (knocking at least an hour out of prep time): - Boil the milk-onion-herbs mixture as instructed, but you don't have to rest it for another hour. It will have time to infuse in the oven where it cooks for over 1.5 hour. - I use dried herbs, 'cause who really has fresh thyme laying around all the time? This works fine, as the boiling softens the herbs. - I put the whole milk mixture into a blender and only take out the bay leaves. The rest I whizz up. This leaves the herbs in as well, which is nice. - Cooking the pancetta and mushrooms separately is a lot of hassle. Just fry them both together in the pan. Nothing makes meat taste better than mushrooms. - I pour bits of the milk in-between the layers too, to make sure the potatoes are all the way soaked in it. If you haven't tried this recipe, you should give it a go - it's scrumilicious.
8th Nov, 2014
And that's a third from me....divine!!
7th Nov, 2014
I will second that!
7th Nov, 2014
Do you know what, this hits the spot!!!!!! :) WOW!!
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