I would like to try out a recipe for a gratin of beets and potatoes. For this I will need sliced potatoes and beets. I always like to cook vegetables for a bit before putting them in the oven to make sure they're done.

Should I first slice the beets and potatoes and then cook them, or the other way around? On the one hand, first slicing feels kind of weird. On the other hand, I'm worried that after cooking, they will be too soft to slice properly. I can't cut the beets in small pieces before cooking (because then the slices will be too small), so the inside will be much harder than the outside as well.

Is there a clever way to do this?

  • Do you mean a gratin? Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:07
  • @ElendilTheTall so I was right! Sorry, English is not my native language. I saw that 'gratin' wasn't accepted by my browser's dictionary, and that 'grating' was a tag... I edited it now, thanks!
    – user34349
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:08
  • There is nothing weird about slicing first. Maybe it feels that way because you have never done it before. But go ahead, there is nothing wrong with it.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:37
  • @rumtscho okay! But would it be a good idea for a gratin? Because the answer says no.
    – user34349
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:46
  • 1
    @CamilStaps huh? The answer says slice first, then bake. This is how gratin is made. Nowhere does it say to cook before slicing, indeed it says not to precook at all.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


With a gratin, the idea is that the vegetables (traditionally just potatoes) are sliced so thinly that they cook very easily in the cream/cooking liquid while retaining some texture. If you pre-cook the vegetables, they will just disintegrate into a mush during baking.

  • That's very interesting and makes it a lot easier, thanks!
    – user34349
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:12
  • 1
    A gratin of beets and potatoes, that does sound very interesting. May have to try that.
    – GdD
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 10:14
  • Definitely look for larger, drier beets though. Smaller versions will hold a lot of excess moisture.
    – logophobe
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 13:16
  • Yeah the whole thing is going to be a crimson color, it sounds tasty. I roast potato and beets together in my skillet, so why not an au gratin? Be kinda borst tasting with the creaminess.
    – Escoce
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 14:01

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