Juniper berries add intrigue to potatoes baked with broth and topped with crisp golden bread crumbs. Serve this gratin with virtually any simply cooked meat or poultry.
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
8 juniper berries
2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-12-inch baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. In a blender, puree 1/4 cup of the stock with the juniper berries. Put the mixture in a small saucepan with the remaining 3/4 cup stock; bring to a simmer.
Layer half of the potatoes in the dish and top with the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Dot with 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Add the remaining potatoes to the dish and and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Pour the simmering broth over the potatoes. Dot with 1 tablespoon of the butter and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and bake 10 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir in the bread crumbs. Sprinkle them on the potatoes and continue baking until the potatoes are tender and the bread crumbs are golden, about 15 minutes longer.