Pommes Anna

My sister Maggie (pictured left) and I have been making Potatoes Anna since we were little kids. It actually may be my first memory of cooking as a child. We were charge of layering the potatoes and often times we would make a special design for birthdays and other celebrations. The recipe could not be more simple – it’s just potatoes, butter, salt and pepper. The trick is making it in a small enough pan so that is easy to flip once it is done. We made this mistake on Thanksgiving, too many potatoes in too large of a pan made it impossible to deliver (see “oh shit” moment below). My dad complained afterward that my frying pan was no good and said he would buy me a better one the next day. He failed to deliver too (I guess it takes one to know one!). All kidding aside, I think this is a great side dish to serve at a holiday dinner party.
Pommes Anna
  • 3 to 4 pounds baking potatoes
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter
  • salt and pepper
"Oh Shit" Moment

In a non stick frying pan, melt about a tablespoon of butter to cover the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, peel and slice potatoes into thin and even slices (1/8 inch). Try to make the first layer as pretty as possible (this is when you can allow your kids – or adult kids – to cut the potatoes into letters or shapes). After each layer, brush the potatoes with butter and season with salt and pepper. Once the pan is full, cover the top with foil and put something heavy and heat proof on top of it (heavy cast iron pots work well). On the stovetop, brown the bottom layer of the potatoes for about 5 to 10 minutes on medium high or until the bottom is brown. My mom claims she can smell when they are done, but you can take a spatula and look under to check. . Then, transfer the entire thing to the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Once the potatoes have cooked through, let the dish cool down a bit and then flip onto a large platter.


  1. Also remember that the dogs really appreciated our “oh shit” moment as about a quarter of the potatoes wound up on the kitchen floor. I think next time the tall person should flip the pan and the short person should hold the platter :).

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