Jansson’s temptation

Serves: 4-6

Jansson’s temptation

There are many versions of this Scandinavian potato dish and I cannot claim that this is, in any way, an authentic one but it is how I like to eat it. The classic calls for pickled sprats but they are not easy to find in the UK and I prefer the salty umami flavour of anchovies-the tinned variety, not the silvery ones that are marinated. If you haven’t got a mandolin fitted with a julienne blade you can thinly slice the potatoes in a food processor-as you would for a dauphinoise. You can serve these potatoes as an accompaniment to roast beef or on its own with a simple green salad on the side.


  • 15g butter plus extra for greasing the dish
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 800g potatoes e.g. Desirée or Maris Piper
  • 30g tin anchovies in oil, drained
  • 600ml double cream
  • 80g gruyère cheese, grated
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
Jansson’s temptation


  1. Heat the oven to 180˚c, fan oven 160˚c, mark 4. Grease an ovenproof gratin dish with a little butter. Heat the oil and the 15g butter in a frying pan and gently sauté the onion for 10 minutes until just soft but not coloured. Set aside.
  2. Peel the potatoes and either grate on a mandolin fitted with the julienne blade or finely slice. Scatter half the onions over the base of the dish. Spoon over half the potatoes and scatter over half the anchovies. Season lightly with a little salt and ground black pepper. Layer up the remaining onions, potatoes and anchovies once more. Pour over the cream. Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the surface of the potatoes. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes until a knife inserted into the potatoes glides in easily. If the potatoes brown too much cover the dish with foil after about 45 minutes.
Jansson’s temptation