Pommes Anna is a classic French dish made with sliced potatoes cooked in a lot of melted butter. Even though the preparation is simple and has just a few ingredients, the presentation makes it perfect for a special occasion. I’ll show you two ways to make this dish, as well as my own special twist!
As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn commission on qualifying purchases. Visit my Amazon Store for tools and ingredients used in this recipe!
Potatoes Anna and Julia Child
Pommes Anna, or Anna potatoes, is one of the first recipes I remember making when I was in college, even before cooking school. It’s a dish that reminds me of Julia Child. She loved simple food, and she loved butter! Pommes Anna has both.
The humble but versatile potato takes center stage, and clarified butter is the supporting character. Using clarified butter means that this dish is also Whole30 approved, Paleo and gluten free!
What kind of potatoes are best for Pommes Anna?
Boiling or russet potatoes work best for this dish, as they have a mild flavor and are firm enough to hold their shape when cooked.
I’ve given this Pommes Anna recipe a twist by adding fresh thyme. But you can also layer them with shallots, parmesan cheese, or other fresh herbs.
How to Make Pommes Anna
There are two ways to prepare this Pommes Anna recipe. The first method is on the stove top. For this preparation, a cast iron or very heavy skillet is best. If you don’t own a cast iron skillet, it’s a great skillet to add to your collection, and once it’s been properly seasoned, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one!
For the second method, use a cake pan or springform pan with a removable bottom, which makes removing the potatoes much easier.
For both methods you’ll need clarified butter, also called ghee, which is butter that has all the milk solids removed. It has a higher smoking point than regular butter. That means the potatoes will have a lovely golden crust, but won’t burn.
How to make clarified butter
While clarified butter sounds complicated, it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to make.
Heat a stick of butter in a saucepan over a low heat. When the butter is melted, skim off the foam and carefully pour the clear golden liquid into a container, leaving the milk solids. Whatever butter you don’t use, can be stored in the fridge for future use.
How to make Pommes Anna
First peel the potatoes. Keep them in a bowl of cold water until they are all peeled. This tip applies to all potato preparations to keep them from discoloring, like Potato Pancakes or Crispy Roasted Potatoes.
Slice the potatoes about 1/8″ thick using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Try to keep the potato slices as uniform as possible. Keep them in cold water until ready to assemble the .
Lay the slices on a paper towel to remove excess moisture while the skillet is heating up.
Over medium heat, heat the cast iron skillet. Remember, cast iron is very heavy, so it requires longer to preheat. Once the skillet is hot, pour or ladle about ¼ inch clarified butter in the bottom of the pan.
Begin placing the potatoes in a layered, circular pattern, working into the center. Season the first layer with salt, pepper and fresh thyme (or any other ingredients you choose to add).
Add a little more butter and continue with the second layer.
Repeat with the rest of the potatoes, seasoning each layer and adding a ladle-full of clarified butter.
Cover the pan and turn the stove to low. Continue cooking until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 35-40 minutes, depending on how thick the potatoes are and how deep your skillet is.
Since a cast iron pan’s handle will be just as hot, transferring the potatoes to a serving dish can be tricky. First, run a knife around the edge. If your cast iron pan is properly seasoned, it should come out very easily.
I use a wooden cutting board and a hot pad holder and flip the whole thing over. Nothing sticks to the bottom and you can see the potatoes are perfectly golden brown.
TIP: To transfer it to a serving dish without it falling apart, I use the insert from my cake pan with the removable bottom. It’s very thin, and can easily slip under the potatoes.
Garnish the finished Pommes Anna with additional fresh thyme, and salt and pepper.
For the second method, follow the recipe for pommes Anna in the exact same way, but in a pan with a removable bottom. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake in the oven until the potatoes are fork tender, about 35-40 minutes. You don’t need to cover the pan.
Use this method if you don’t need extra oven space. For this version, I used parsley, thyme, chives and thinly-sliced shallots.
Wondering what to serve with Pommes Anna? Try one of these great entrees:
This post was originally published on August 17th, 2012.
- 2 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, washed, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
- 1/2 cup unsalted clarified butter*
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, chives, parsley, rosemary, oregano or a combination of herbs.
- Kosher salt and white pepper
- Wash, peel and slice potatoes 1/4″ thick and drop into cold water to prevent browning. When ready, drain and pat potatoes dry with paper towels.
- In a 9 or 10" heavy bottomed cast iron or non-stick skillet, pour about 1/4" butter. Over a medium heat, arrange potato slices in a circle, sprinkle with some herbs, and a little salt and pepper.
- Add more butter and continue layering potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, finishing with a layer of potatoes.
- Drizzle top with any remaining butter.
- Cook over medium heat until bottom begins to get brown and crusty.
- Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 30-40 minutes depending on depth of pan and thickness of potatoes.
- When done, invert onto a serving plate and cut into wedges.
- Sprinkle with more fresh herbs.
- *To clarify butter, heat over a low heat until butter is melted. Spoon off and discard white foam. What remains is clarified butter. It has a higher smoking point than regular butter.
OMG, YUM! I need to make these! I love potatoes any which way and was actually going to make Gratin Dauphinois this past week, but never did! Now I’m adding Pommes Anna to my list! Looks fantastic!
mimi rippee says
This technique makes for such a pretty presentation! Do you own a steel mesh glove? Years ago a fellow blogger sent me a link to one on Amazon after I posted a picture of my bleeding finger in a post. Since then I’ve gotten other people to buy this glove as well. You can’t cut your finger if you try!!! Just thought I’d ask…
Christina Conte says
I bought them as I’m infamous for slipping with graters and slicers! Really great product!
I don’t own a mesh glove, but that’s a great idea!
I love anything potato! Looks so delicious and would make such a delicious side dish ♥
I love how versatile potatoes are!
I’ve never tried this dish, however, you can never go wrong with savory potatoes! Yum!
You’re right Shanika! Potatoes for the win~
This dish looks fabulous Cynthia! I have made a similar potato bake but with cream, I didn’t realise their was an option with no cream, so I will give this a go! Cheers
That sounds like a scalloped potato dish perhaps?
I love potatoes in any form and this is a lovely looking side dish. Would be great for serving up at a dinner party.
Yes, it’s impressive, but not complicated.
Shashi at SavorySpin says
I’m just gonna stop for a minute and imagine inhaling this dish – nope that’s not a typo – I meant to say inhaling instead of eating cos this wouldn’t last long in my home! Such a wonderful way to enjoy potatoes!
Haha! I don’t think there’s a bad way to eat potatoes!
Jeff the Chef says
I’ve never had potatoes prepared this way. It looks and sounds fantastic!
OLGA BRESWITZ says
WANT TO USE SPRING FOAM PAN FOR POTATOE ANNA SINCE I DO NOT HAVE OTHER\CAN YOU HEL[ ME WITH THAT REC
I use a springform pan all the time! it works great!
Olga, if you don’t have a springform pan you can use a cake pan lined with parchment paper (to help the potatoes release).