Home » Cast-Iron Skillet Pommes Anna with Garlic

Cast-Iron Skillet Pommes Anna with Garlic

pommes anna closeup feature

Cast-Iron Skillet Pommes Anna is buttery, garlicky side dish potato perfection. A brown and crispy crust and creamy potato interior make these potatoes so satisfying with almost any meal.

I hope A.A. Milne was right, because I really like potatoes. I like potatoes a whole lot. Potatoes are so versatile. You can dress them up, dress them down, top them, sauce them, or just fry ’em up and munch ’em. And it’s all so good. You gotta love a good potato.

You know what else loves potatoes? Butter. Butter and potatoes are total besties. Potatoes love butter right back. (I love both of these things too. It’s a problem.) The French figured this out a long time ago, and decided to just let that friendship shine, so they invented Pommes Anna. Potatoes, butter, salt and pepper. That’s it, the whole show. We’re going to add a little garlic today, but that’s as far as it’s going to go. Pommes Anna is an example of the cooking philosophy of “work with great ingredients and do as little as possible to them.”

Pommes Anna is a very simple recipe with fairly few steps. We’re going to want to work with potatoes that are fresh, good quality butter and freshly ground pepper. We want to spend the little bit of extra time to slice the potatoes thinly so they crisp up on the outside, and to let them cook on the stovetop for a few minutes before baking to help form that gorgeous brown crust on top. This recipe is all about the beauty in simplicity, and getting that beauty means there are a few details we have to get right. No worries, you’ll be eating buttery, garlicky potatoes in about an hour.

pommes anna ingredients

Ingredient Notes

  • Butter – One stick of unsalted butter. I love the European style butter for this recipe because the higher butterfat content gives great flavor and great browning on the top of the potatoes. If you don’t have any, standard unsalted butter will work great.
  • Garlic – 4 cloves of minced garlic to flavor the butter and the potatoes. This is optional. If you don’t like garlic or the flavor doesn’t complement what you’re serving with the potatoes, skip it.
  • Potatoes – There are two schools of thought on the potato variety for Pommes Anna. Some like the fluffier, starchier texture of Russets and feel that the potatoes hold together better when you flip them out of the pan, Others like the creamier flavor of Yukon Golds and prefer them because the slices hold their shape better when baked without breaking down. I’m a Yukon Gold fan, so that’s what I used here. I use Yukons for most potato dishes, but not all. If you like the Russets, by all means use those.
  • Salt and pepper – I recommend kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fancy sea salt has its place (like on the bottom of the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie. Trust me.) but the nuance of flavor and the crunch offered by the crystalline structure will get lost inside the potatoes. Save the fancy stuff for finishing on top. Grind your pepper fresh for this. There are so few ingredients, you’ll taste the difference. No dusty pre-ground pepper out of the little can, please!
pommes anna

How to Make Cast-Iron Skillet Pommes Anna

  • Melt butter with garlic. Melt the stick of butter and add minced garlic. Cook for about 1 minute until you smell the garlic toasting. Turn off the heat and set aside to steep.
melted butter and garlic
  • Slice the potatoes. Wash, peel and slice your potatoes. The goal is even slices about 1/8″ thick. There are a few tools for the job. A food processor with a slicing blade is a quick and efficient method with minimal risk of cutting yourself. But, if your knife skills are good, just grab for your chef’s knife. This is my method of choice. It’s just as fast and a knife is a lot easier to wash than the parts of your food processor. I love my chef’s knife. It’s probably the most used tool in my kitchen. Wusthof-Trident is my go-to for most knives and I’ve had their Classic Cook’s Knife for more than 20 years. It holds a great edge and still looks just like it did when I took it out of the box in 2000. It’s an investment, but all good knives are. The last option is a mandoline. Unless you’re a professional, I don’t recommend them. For my money, mandolines are the single most dangerous item in a home kitchen. These end in blood way more often than knives do, in my experience. I’ve patched up more than one person after they’ve come into contact with a mandoline.
sliced potatoes
  • Strain the butter. With a fine mesh sieve and a bowl, strain the minced garlic out of the melted butter. We want the garlic flavor, but since we’re going to bake the potatoes in a hot cast iron pan, the risk of burning the garlic is high. By steeping the garlic in the butter, we’ve gotten the flavor without the risk of bitter burned garlic pieces in our finished dish.
drained butter and garlic
  • Get ready to build. Now that the ingredients are prepped and ready to go, it’s time to get the hardware ready to assemble your Pommes Anna. First thing we’re going to need is a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, buttered so that it doesn’t stick to the potatoes on the top of the pan. The melted butter we have ready to go and a pastry brush is all we need.
buttered aluminum foil

Then we’ll do the same thing to a 12 inch cast iron frying pan. Brush the pan with the garlic infused melted butter, and put it over medium heat. The pan I’m using is old and the manufacturer is no longer in business. I also own and recommend Lodge Cast Iron skillets. They are good pans and your grandchildren will inherit them if you take good care. There are a number of artisanal cast iron producers out there, but the Lodge pans work well for me at about a tenth of the price. Don’t be shy with the butter. You really don’t want the bottom layer of potatoes to stick. And it’s butter. Yum yum.

buttered cast iron frying pan
  • Layer the potatoes with butter and seasonings. Keep in mind that you are layering your ingredients into a hot pan. This is a good time for a little caution! Doing this in this fashion will give the bottom layer of potatoes time to start browning and crisping up before you bake. Start with one slice in the center of the pan.
sliced potato in cast iron skillet

Layer out from the center slice until you have the entire bottom of the skillet covered. The Pommes Anna will get flipped out of the pan when it’s finished, so this layer is what’s going to show on top. It’s the only layer where you may want a little focus on making the layers look pretty. Spoon some of your melted butter on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

pommes anna first layer

Continue to layer in the potato slices, topping each layer with melted butter, salt and pepper until your pan is about 3/4 full. I used about 3 pounds of potatoes for this size pan.

pommes anna layered in a pan
  • Bake. To get the Pommes Ann ready for the oven, place the aluminum foil on top of the potatoes, buttered side down. Weight the top with another heavy pan. The weight of the second pan will press the potatoes down as they bake and help the finished dish hold together when you turn it out of the pan.
weighted cast iron pans

Bake until a knife inserts easily through the potato slices. One of the great things about these potatoes is that they can bake with whatever protein you may be cooking at the same time. Anywhere between 325F and 400F will work, it will just change the amount of time the potatoes have to bake. I cooked these at 375F for about 40 minutes.

  • Invert and admire. Invert the Pommes Anna onto a serving plate and admire your creation. If any slices stick to the pan, just remove them and replace on the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the top with a bit of parsley or thyme, or finish with a bit of fancy sea salt if you’d like.
pommes anna

If you’re like me and love potatoes in all their tasty forms, take a look at my Roasted Corn Mashed Potatoes!

Cast-Iron Skillet Pommes Anna with Garlic

Course: Fall, Potatoes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian, WinterCuisine: French
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Cast-Iron Skillet Pommes Anna is buttery, garlicky side dish potato perfection. A brown and crispy crust and creamy potato interior make these potatoes so satisfying with almost any meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (one stick) unsalted butter

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes

  • 2-3 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Melt butter in saucepan. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat and set aside to steep.
  • Wash, peel and slice potatoes to 1/8 inch thickness.
  • Strain melted butter through a fine mesh sieve to remove minced garlic.
  • Prepare heavy-duty aluminum foil by brushing one side with melted butter. Set aside.
  • Brush cast iron pan with melted butter and place over low/medium heat.
  • Begin layering potato slices in pan, starting with one slice in the center. Layer slices around the center slice until the bottom of the pan is covered. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with 1/4 of salt and pepper.
  • Continue layering potato slices with butter, salt and pepper. You should be able to get 4 layers in the pan. Make sure your layering ends with butter, salt and pepper. Pour over any remaining butter.
  • Cover potatoes in the pan with aluminum foil and weight down with another heavy pan.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes until a knife can easily pierce through the potato slices.
  • Invert the Pommes Anna onto a serving dish and garnish with parsley, thyme or finishing salt as desired.

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