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Brioche, Fennel and Gruyere Gratin

Are you ready for an alternative to potato gratin? Look no further than my brioche, fennel and gruyere gratin paired with a UK Pinot Meunier.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: brioche, fennel, gratin, gruyere, pinot meunier
Servings: 6 people

Equipment

  • baking dish

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf Brioche
  • 2 sliced fennel bulbs
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 handful smashed Hazelnuts
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup Double cream
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • salt and pepper to season

Instructions

Toasting the Brioche

  • Set the oven to 200°C. Begin by slicing the brioche loaf and then cutting it into cubes that are roughly 1-2cm wide.
  • Place the cubes on a baking tray and toast them in the oven for 1-2 minutes. Gently toss the cubes and return to the oven to toast for another 1-2 minutes. You want to keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
  • Once the brioche cubes are toasted, remove them and set them aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, grease a baking dish and then add half the toasted brioche cubes.
  • Set the baking dish aside until the fennel sauce is ready.

Slicing the Fennel and Onion

  • Slice the two fennel bulbs and set aside.
  • Slice one onion and set aside.

Smashing the Hazelnuts

  • Place a handful of hazelnuts in a sealed bag. Smash them with a meat tenderiser. Set aside

Grating the Gruyere Cheese

  • Grate the Gruyere cheese and set aside

Making the Gratin Sauce

  • Now that you've sliced, grated and smashed your ingredients, have them nearby, as you'll want to quickly add them to the mix!
  • Begin by melting the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add the fennel and sauté for about 2 minutes until it has slightly softened.
  • Add the sliced onion to the fennel and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Then add the fresh thyme and the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the crème fraiche and double cream. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook for another 5 minutes until it has slightly thickened.
  • Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg

Layering the Gratin

  • Begin by using a large serving spoon or ladle to pour half of the fennel gratin sauce over the toasted brioche cubes that are patiently waiting in your baking dish.
  • Next, sprinkle half the grated Gruyere and half the Hazelnuts on top. Then add a bit of salt and pepper. Repeat these steps to add one more layer, starting with the remaining brioche cubes.
  • Bake in the 200°C oven uncovered for 30 minutes. If the gratin starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminium foil and continue baking.
  • Remove from the oven, cover with aluminium foil until ready to serve.

Serving

  • Serve this warm on its own or as a side dish. Serve with a glass of Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Crus or still red Pinot Meunier

Wine Pairing

  • Pair with a glass of still red Pinot Meunier.