Potatoes Anna

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“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.”~Oprah Winfrey

I was flipping through Julia Child’s “The French Chef Cookbook,” and came across this recipe for Potatoes Anna. I have made this dish several times, but this recipe is the best. It calls for an oven set to 450 degrees. Some other recipes say only 425 degrees which is simply not hot enough. Compare and see for yourself πŸ˜‰ I use Yukon Gold potatoes for this recipe. Potatoes Anna is a great side dish to serve with grilled steak and a fresh, green salad.

You’ll need a 10 to 12 inch cast iron skillet with a tight fitting lid.

Preheat oven to 450. Set your oven racks on the two lowest positions in your oven.

Slice about 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes to 1/16 of an inch thickness and dry each slice thoroughly with paper towels. Melt two sticks of butter in a small bowl and put a couple tablespoons of the melted butter in the bottom of the cast iron skillet. Begin arranging potato slices in the skillet in even rounds, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle each layer with a little salt and pepper, and a generous drizzle of butter. Fill the pan completely, allowing the potatoes to create aΒ  dome in the center. Be sure to use all the butter, some of it will be poured off at the end of the cooking process to be used in another recipe if you wish.


Press potatoes down with a heavy saucepan and set a tightly fitted cover over the pan. If you don’t have a cover, you can use aluminum foil. Set a large cookie sheet on the bottom oven rack to catch any butter drippings, and set the covered skillet on the rack above it. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove cover, and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Drain out excess butter, which can be used again. Run a knife along the edge of the potatoes. Cut into wedges and serve immediately with sour cream and chives if you wish.




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  32 comments for “Potatoes Anna

  1. carolann
    March 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I was rather surprised at your posting Julia Child’s recipe for Potatoes Anna. While you gave her credit for the recipe, I am surprised that you did not get permission from her estate or publishers to do so, or did you??I didn’t see a reference such as: Used by permission from the authors estate or publisher.

    As an author, Melissa, I would think that you would consider the copyright of her book and recipes as an intellectual property belonging of this venerated author. If others would like the reicpe, they should be her book, don’t you think?

    • March 14, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Carolann,

      This recipe isn’t Julia’s exact recipe, but has been adapted from it. If a recipe is from a book, it’s acceptable to use a recipe, as long as credit is given and the person changes the language of the recipe to personalize it. Newspapers usually use the phrase “adapted from…” to designate the source of the recipe. When you adapt a recipe from another source, you do not need permission to adapt the recipe. But it’s considered proper etiquette to acknowledge the source.

      • Diane Jacobs
        March 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

        Ingredients do not fall under copyright law. Description as to how to mix do. I would think as an author you would know this.

        I am sure Julia adapted this receipe from someone also. Recipes have been around for thousands of years and passed down through the generations. What good is a receipe that can not be shared? Life would be so boring.

        • Melissa
          March 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm

          I do know this, Diane. That’s why I said what I said in my first comment. πŸ™‚ I’m sure Julia adapted the recipe too. Thanks for your comments, and for visiting.

    • Nancy Mellott
      March 21, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      “they should BE her book” ???????? Don’t you mean read or buy ??????? I think you should look over your comments before you send them ! Just sayin !

  2. Sandy
    March 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    You are exactly right Melissa and when I read this recipe I take it as your version of Julia Child’s Potatoes Anna. You are using 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes and the classic French version is firm-fleshed potatoes and the baking in lots of butter and constant turning of the potatoes in the oven or in a pan so as you cook the potatoes they will turn to a golden brown. You have simplified the recipe by using golden Yukon potatos and you tell me to compare your version to Julia’s. I do love your version. Your newspaper friend….

    • February 11, 2014 at 10:44 am

      Thanks for all the comments. I don’t even think the “argument” was warranted. You adapted a good idea for potatoes from another source… That’s how we get most of our recipes. They have come down thru the years and if we each named something individual, how would we be able to share, compare and adapt them for our own particular tastes. I love your blog….. thanks

      • Melissa
        February 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        I agree, Pam πŸ™‚ thank you so much for the sweet compliment and comment. XO ~M

  3. March 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for your input on this matter Sandy. I consider you an expert. I’m so pleased you like my rendition of the recipe. The Yukon golds really do make all the difference.

  4. Melissa
    March 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I think it’s funny that “Carolann” never responded to this. LOL.

  5. March 11, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    regardless of carolann, your ‘rendition’ of the recipe from whomever is fantastic. this is such a popular recipe under a wide number of names, i am personally surprised that anyone would associate it with any particular recipe or cook or chef. seriously, i could look this recipe up on a variety of sources and probably find ‘something’ you could attribute credit to. the point is, you have helped us with a great way to feed our families something scrumptious, regardless of the specific source of the potato discoverer. <3

  6. Melissa
    March 11, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    I was surprised too Maria. It’s like trying to attach a copyright to the recipe for chocolate chip cookies πŸ˜‰ Whatever the case, it’s yummy. Enjoy.


  7. March 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    that’s exactly what i was thinking! this made me think of scalloped potatoes! well, everyone has their opinion, so there ya go. taste is all that really matters – thanks for sharing!!

  8. Melissa
    March 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    once again, we’re on the same page! Imagine that! xo

  9. December 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Such drama! Anyways, I think these potatoes sound fantastic and my family would love them. I like that they are made in the oven, so much easier than messing with them on the stovetop! Another great recipe, Melissa:)

    • Melissa
      December 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

      Yes…the drama. It seems impossible to stay away from it when you have anything to do with being online. Oh well! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for commenting, Lisa! xoxo

  10. Marcie
    March 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I say keep on keepin on and forget about those looking to say something that represents their ignorance. πŸ™‚

    • Melissa
      March 17, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      thanks so much for your kind words, Marcie! I agree πŸ™‚ xoxo

  11. Marcie
    March 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Also, my classically trained professional chef just stated that Potatoes Anna is classical french recipe which did not ‘belong’ to Julia Child, therefore the recipe in her book is also an adaptation. LOL!!!

    • Melissa
      September 10, 2013 at 7:11 am

      LOL! πŸ™‚

  12. Pamela Karwasinski
    March 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Thanks for this recipe. I love baked, browned potatoes but am a lazy cook. To know I can just “throw” them in the oven is a God send. I’m definitely going to give this a try.

    • Melissa
      March 18, 2013 at 10:50 am

      enjoy, Pamela! πŸ™‚ thanks for commenting.

  13. March 18, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I don’t care who did what, these look AMAZING to me! πŸ™‚

    • Melissa
      March 18, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Thanks, Sonali! hee hee…oye…the drama, I tell ya. πŸ˜‰ thanks for visiting and for commenting. xo

  14. Freddie Oakley
    March 30, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    So happy to see Pommes de Terre Anna here! I have been making this dish regularly since 1970. I first found the recipe in the original French Chef Cookbook. When searching my cookbook shelves for it this evening, I find that my beloved, tattered, grease-stained copy is missing. I must have given it to one of my children in an insane fit of maternal generosity. Just wanted to check on the amount of clarified butter Julia recommends, and see my own note on the reduced amount we prefer. Oh well…will work from your adaptation, which looks very sensible and is close to the classic. I do recommend one clarify the melted butter, get the skillet good and hot before arranging the potatoes, (this improves the crust — but arrange the potatoes in the hot skillet off heat), and give the skillet some firm shakes before putting the assembled dish into the oven (this helps to prevent sticking). Finally, for goodness sake, reverse the cooked potatoes onto a big round platter and serve the “en reverse”, or upside down, for a gorgeous presentation!

    • Melissa
      March 31, 2013 at 12:03 am

      Hi Freddie! thanks so much for your note! the next time I make it I will definitely serve it upside down and add that photo to this post πŸ™‚ Enjoy the recipe!

  15. February 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the recipe! I am making Beef Bourguignon Ina ‘s style which happens to be similar to Julie’s recipe.. with Carrots and minus the steps and wash of casserole dish between each step! I will be making this Potato recipe, which happens to be very similar to mine but with cream to go with the Beef. Sorry I forget to APA format as to who has ownership for that recipe, but trust me by the time I make either recipe they will be no plagiarize as I can not resist to do my own spin of the recipes!

    • Melissa
      February 11, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Hee hee, I’m the same way, Marilyn! I love to invent my own twist on old favorites. Enjoy the Beef Bourguignon! XO

  16. Vera Guthrie
    August 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I have a published cookbook and I say share away I don’t give a hoot. I put the book together to remember my Mother and her great cooking and I want everyone to enjoy it.

    • Melissa
      August 29, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks, Vera! As a published author, I completely agree πŸ˜‰ XO ~M

  17. Geraldine
    January 13, 2018 at 4:42 am

    I can’t wait to try this recipe but I don’t have a cast iron skillet. Can I use a regular pan

    Thank you

  18. Pam
    February 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Making these today for our anniversary/Valentine’s Day…they are that good! Per Martha Stewart, I fry them several minutes first on the stove top to ensure a bottom crust. I use a compound butter recipe of garlic, Parmesan cheese, some Italian seasoning and paprika. Everyone raves….and I come off looking great! Thank you so very very much!

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