I don’t know about you, but eating at steakhouses isn’t my wheelhouse. So when I go, I read every inch of the menu and agonize over just the right choices to maximize my experience! (Then hate it if someone orders something that looks better than mine, lol!) And while I enjoy the steak, what makes it for me is the au gratin potatoes. My daughter takes after me; when she came back after a special dinner with her sweetie, what Jess raved about wasn’t the steak, it was Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin.
So when Jess asked me about a recipe, I tried to remember if I’d eaten at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. I thought so but then thought maybe it was Morton’s. It’s been decades, literally. So I pulled up the menu and then checked out dozens of pics on Yelp & Trip Advisor and started experimenting. And of course, I *had* to have me some Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin to compare.
About Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin Copycat:
Now, I want to go eat at Ruth’s Chris again!! But instead, I’m just going to make Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin Copycat at home, and they’re going to be the perfect side for my Poor Man’s Mock Prime Rib. I’m not stopping there, though, and you shouldn’t either!
These are the potatoes that are gonna up your potato game! You’ll want them for every major holiday and every special company dinner, and of course, when you serve steak. This is one of those recipes that’s so impressive no one will guess how easy it is or how surprisingly simple, and you don’t have to tell anyone! Just say thanks, lol!
And not only are they simple, with just a handful of ingredients, but they’re also fast, too. That’s such a bonus!
Photos of Ruth’s Chris au Gratin Potatoes from Yelp & Trip Advisor:
Making Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin Copycat:
This is a two-step recipe, stove to oven, and it knocks off a good hour from a standard bake only au gratin potato & gives you the best, creamiest, cheesiest potatoes. In a large pot, cook a bit of onion till softened, then add the garlic, stock, cream, seasonings, and potatoes. Simmer the potatoes until just tender but in no danger of falling apart. Add them along with the cream to a buttered casserole, top with cheese and bake 15 more minutes or so until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
The flavors in this dish are subtle. A little onion, one clove of garlic, salt, and pepper, and the stock which is a variable. If you like a bigger robust flavor, adjust the amount of onion and garlic to your taste. Always taste for the salt and pepper, which you can do before you add the potatoes. You can always add a little seasoning salt, maybe some thyme or maybe whatever you add to your own fave potatoes.
These can be baked in individual dishes (watch the timing) or one larger casserole, which is what I’m guessing most people are going to want to do. I just had to try the individual portions because I just happened to have the same dishes as Ruth Chris!
Note: I updated all the hints and helps on this recipe in December 2019. I think you’ll find it easier to sort through and hope it will answer any questions you might have! It’s super easy but I get that it’s “different!” Part of the recipe was adapted from scalloped potatoes by Cook’s Illustrated.
Here’s everything you need to know about the potatoes to pull this dish off easily!
- Use a starchy potato, preferably russet. You need that starch along with the cream so the sauce thickens beautifully.
- It’s best to peel the potatoes before starting anything else; drop them in water so they don’t discolor. Dry before using, no need to be perfect about it; you just don’t want them dripping.
- Cook’s Illustrated says cut potatoes 1/8 inch thick. It’s the size of your standard food processor blade, so that’s a super easy no-brainer. And yeah, I measured! A mandolin makes short work of the potatoes, too.
- If you’re hand cutting you might not be able to cut that thin. Do your best and try for no more than 1/4″ or the potatoes might take longer to simmer. That increases the possibility of scorching.
- For best timing, slice the potatoes as the onion & garlic cook. Then there shouldn’t be time for them to discolor.
- Don’t put the slices of potato in water; you don’t want to wash off that starch or water down the dish.
- If slicing is taking a long time, for instance, if done by hand, don’t burn the onions and garlic. Watch them closely and remove from heat if needed.
The Simmering Process:
The real key to this recipe is bringing the potatoes and stock cream mixture up to a good simmer and then reducing the heat to a bare simmer; that simmer should be small little bubbles breaking through, not a big boil. That means you don’t have to stir the potatoes so there is no risk of breaking them up. There’s nothing to it, but here are some helpful hints and potential pitfalls to avoid.
- Use a heavy pan if possible and one that’s not too wide. The wider the pan, the more cream will be needed. Have extra cream on hand; the amount needed might vary with the size of the pot or number of potatoes; the potatoes should be just covered.
- Simmer gently, only. Boiling might “break” the sauce and make your potatoes oily and can also cause scorching.
- Adjust the heat as needed, but don’t stir, which can break up the potatoes.
- If you know your burners cook hotter in one area, or if you are using a larger pot that overlaps the heating element, move the pot around on the burner now and then to compensate.
- Test for doneness by piercing gently with a knife; test several from different areas of the pot. The potatoes should be just getting tender not completely done. Think “al dente.”
- If the potatoes do scorch, leave it alone at the bottom of the pot when you transfer to your casserole. Unless it’s badly burned and it flavors the whole pot (taste it) it should be fine.
I couldn’t find anywhere what cheese Ruth Chris’ uses. I went with a common three cheese mix: mostly cheddar with a touch of provolone (or fontina) and Parmesan mix. If you know what cheese they use, please chime in! For the best cheesy topping, follow the hints below. If you can’t finely grate your own cheese, and I know it’s a pain, no worries, this will still be fabulous.
- Top your potatoes with a ton of light fluffy cheese.
- You’ll want finely grated cheese. It melts beautifully and you won’t get a thick, dense layer of cheese. If you have a rotary grater, use the fine setting, or use the fine setting on a box grater.
- For the best melting cheese, grate your own; you’ll avoid any stabilizers that keep grated cheese from clumping but also keeps cheese from melting as well.
- Cheese is salty; if you use less cheese, you might want to add more salt to the potatoes to make up the difference.
Doubling the Recipe:
This is an update and why I didn’t update the photos, I don’t know!
- Doubling worked well when I simmered my potatoes in my heavy enameled cast iron Dutch oven; making an even larger amount (maybe 3x or 4x for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter) will be better done in two pots rather than one large to avoid uneven cooking or scorching.
- Doubling required a larger pot and took just a bit longer to come up to a good simmer, but mine were still done about 20 minutes after reaching a simmer. If your pot is larger, especially if it overlaps the heating element of the burner, move the pot around now and then on the burner.
This is an update. I finally had an opportunity to make these potatoes ahead. Here’s what worked for me as well as other reviewers:
- Cook potatoes on the stovetop as directed, place in a large, shallow casserole but do not top with cheese. Refrigerate and as soon as cool, cover tightly. The cheese can be grated ahead and placed in a second container.
- When ready to bake, remove casserole from the refrigerator and let sit for one hour. Top with cheese and place in preheated oven. Increase baking time to about 20 minutes. Test at 15.
Saving Money on Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin Copycat:
Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin Copycat is not your everyday recipe, and with the cream and three cups of cheese (12 ounces total) isn’t your cheapest dish, either! I priced it out a little under five dollars for the dish using sale priced ingredients and real Parmesan, not the stuff in the can. It will run a little more if you use a better cheddar, but don’t use something that’s so aged that it doesn’t melt well. At any price, this really is one of the BEST potato dishes I’ve ever made or ever ate.
Shop well for that cheese. Watch the grocery store specials and coupon deals; grocery store cheeses keep for weeks, unopened and can be frozen. Buy it when it’s cheap and use it as needed. Parmesan cheese can be a bit trickier to buy, since it’s a deli or “near” deli item. Stores sometimes have hang tags; coupons with long expiration dates and the producers sometimes have coupons. Save them until the cheese goes on sale.
Cream can be pricey, too, and is often on sale around holidays. Check Aldi and Costco for great prices that rival the prices you’ll find for grocery store specials. Cream, with it’s higher fat content keeps well for weeks.
Potatoes are cheapest in larger bags, which may contain assorted sizes. Sort through them, use the larger ones for bakers or when size matters and the rest for dishes like this or mashed potatoes. Store in a cool, dark place (A loosely closed paper bag works great) away from onions.Print
Ruth’s Chris Potatoes au Gratin Copycat
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 1x
- Category: Sides
- Cuisine: American
- 2 tablespoons butter plus additional to butter casserole dish
- 1/2 medium onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream; add a little more if it doesn’t cover potatoes
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds (about 5 to 6 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick (thickness of standard food processor slicing disc)
- 3 cups total finely shredded cheese: 2 cups Cheddar (8 ounces), and 3/4’s cup (3 ounces) of either Fontina or Provolone along with 1/4 cup (1 ounce) Parmesan, mixed together
- about 1 tablespoon chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Melt the butter, and sauté the onion over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the stock, cream, and potatoes and bring to a good (not a boil) simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the potatoes are nearly tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. Gently stir.
Transfer the mixture to a buttered 8 x 8″ or equivalent sized baking dish (or about five to six individual casseroles). Top with the cheese and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 -15 minutes for the casserole (a little less for individual casseroles) or just until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Cool a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Note: Although our family loves this just as is, this is a very creamy dish with cream, potatoes and cheese, and just a little onion, one clove garlic and the bit of chicken stock for additional flavor. It’s fine to taste the sauce before you transfer to the casserole and be sure to adequately season with salt and pepper. If you are a person who prefers a dish that is more highly flavored, feel free to increase the onion and/or garlic to taste.
Keywords: au gratin potatoes, cheddar, Cheese, Chicken Stock, Cook's Illustrated, Cream, fontina, hearty sides, parmesan, Potatoes, provolone, Ruth's Chris, Side, Steakhouse
If you’re looking for Holiday dishes or just something fun to make all in one place, stop by and see what everyone has bought to the party!