Janssons temptation

Matt Tebbutt cooks the classic Swedish anchovy and potato gratin, a dish that is sure to be irresistible to any dinner party guests
By Matt Tebbutt
Janssons temptation
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 75 g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 16 sweet-salty anchovies, preferably Swedish ones
  • 1 kg Ratte potatoes
  • 400 ml whipping cream

To serve

  • salad, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Tips and Suggestions

Ratte potatoes, also known as La Ratte or Asparges, are small with a unique nutty flavour and a smooth texture. They are a favourite of French chefs and they work really well for roasting and boiling.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

2. Heat a knob of the butter in a large, heavy-based pan until foaming, then add the onions and fry until golden-brown and softened.

3. Chop half of the anchovies and add to the onions during the last 4-5 minutes of cooking. Add a few tablespoons of the liquid from the anchovy jar to taste.

4. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes, and then cut each slice into thin batons.

5. Butter a large ovenproof casserole dish. Place a layer of the cooked onions and anchovies in the bottom, then add a layer of potatoes and top with a small knob of butter. Layer a few anchovies over, then repeat the layering process again with the onions, potatoes, butter and anchovies, finishing with a layer of potatoes. Season each layer with salt and freshly ground black pepper as you go.

6. Pour over the cream and dot with the remaining butter. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender and golden-brown on top. Serve with a salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to cut through the richness.

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