Normally for these winter Sunday evenings we cook a huge pot of something in the slow-cooker. Slow-cooker Slop. Mince, tomatoes and whatever else we think to add, either to make a kind of chilli (remembering that food in France is NOT generally hot and spicy) or cottage pie or whatever. (We once did a massive pork casserole and one of our muslim students came back to visit that week. Oops. Moral of the story, always have a non-pork alternative)
Last night we'd used up all our mince and we had a glut of potatoes, so I decided to make a massive slow-cooker gratin dauphinois, but with the addition of lardons to give some minimal protein content.
My construction was very simple - slice potatoes directly into the slow-cooker with the mandoline.
A layer of potatoes, a scattering of lardons, a splash of cream, a sprinkling of chopped garlic, a little salt and plenty of pepper. Repeat till the slow-cooker is full, then add milk and top with grated cheese. Cook for hours as is the way with slow-cookers.
Tip for the mandoline. Cut the potatoes in half before slicing and put the cut side to the mandoline blade.
It worked very well. I was concerned that the potatoes would become one huge uniform greasy sludge, but they didn't. They kept their disc-like nature and the bacon, cheese, garlic etc. was very tasty.
Next time I'll put in more lardons and cheese between the layers, and maybe add onions.