Recipe from Olympia Provisions Cookbook. Photos by Eric Wolfinger.
Nothing epitomizes the Olympia Provisions endeavor to bridge tradition and future as this exquisitely simple but unique dish. When we were starting the brunch program at OP, we racked our brains to create an easy-to-execute potato dish. Akin to pommes Anna and gratin dauphinois, Chef Colin’s elegant solution gave us the perfect brunch potato—“the potatoes of tomorrow, today.” The name is attributed to an ornery cook who told a customer we achieved the uniform thickness of the sliced potatoes with the help of a class 5 laser. If you don’t have a laser at home, however, a Japanese mandoline will suffice.
12 tablespoons (175 g) unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons (42 g) for coating
4 cups (435 g) finely julienned onion
5 pounds (2.25 kg) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Combine the butter and onions to a large pot over medium heat and sweat the onions until they are tender and translucent, without browning, about 4 minutes. While the onions are sweating, slice the potatoes 1⁄32 to 1⁄16 inch (1 to 2 mm) thick on a mandoline into a large bowl. Add the onions and mix until the potatoes are coated with butter and the onions are evenly distributed. Add salt until you can just taste the saltiness over the sweetness of the onion and season lightly with pepper.
2. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a 10-inch (25-cm) cast-iron skillet, and press into the bottom of the pan. Layer the potato mixture into the pan until it is heaping full (see photos, right). Pour over any excess butter from onion mixture. Once the pan is full, cut another parchment paper cartouche and place it on top of the potato pile. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
3. Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 13⁄4 to 2 hours, until you can pierce the potatoes with a skewer without resistance. To achieve a crispy surface, remove the foil and the top parchment and broil for the last 10 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for at least 45 minutes. Gently press the potatoes with a spatula until flat on top. Refrigerate to meld the flavors, at least 5 hours or up to overnight.
5. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Coat a baking sheet with 3 tablespoons melted butter. With a knife or spatula, carefully cut around the edge of the pan to loosen the potatoes. Invert the pan onto a cutting board or large plate and carefully remove the parchment paper. Trim any dark or ragged edges off the top of the potatoes, and cut into twelve wedges. Place as many wedges as you want to serve on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and hot, 12 to 15 minutes. Wrapped with plastic and stored in the refrigerator, the unsliced potatoes will keep for 1 week.