Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Best Potato Recipe in the World

Whenever I serve this dish my guests end up scraping the pattern off the plate to get to the last crispy morsels! This is a seriously good recipe. It is quite a heavy dish (as you will see) but it does work very well with a barbeque. A pile of grilled meat, some lovely salads and these spuds is a very good combination.


Potatoes (1 large per two people)
Packet of Lardons *
1 Onion, cut into 8 pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pont L-Eveque cheese **


* lardons are small cubes of smoked bacon, you can use 3 or 4 smoked streaky rashers of bacon cut into small pieces, or a small box of pancetta pieces

** Pont L’Eveque is a yummy cheese, comes in a small square box, and has a delightful nutty taste. It comes in one size which is a 400g square ‘cake’. If you can’t find it substitute it with either raclette (which any skier will know about!) or tallegio. Basically what you want is a firm cheese that will melt but retain its constituency and not separate like a cheddar would do for example.

Some comments about the quantities: what you are trying to create here is a potato, onion-ey, cheese-ey and bacon-ey mess and really what quantities you use of either are up to you. However, to give you an idea for two of us I would still use 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic, but I would only use half a packed of lardons and either a quarter (100g) or a half (200g) of a square of pont l’eveque cheese. For six people or more I would probably still only use one square of pont l’eveque (if it were for ten or more I might use two) but I would add more onion and more garlic.

And then you need to:

Heat oven to 200C/400F. Put large oven proof serving dish in oven to heat up. You will serve the potatoes in this dish on the table so make sure it’s a nice one!

Peel and chop the potato into bite sized chunks (not too small), and par-boil in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain.

In a large frying pan heat a good glug of EV olive oil over medium hot flame and when pretty hot chuck in onions, garlic and lardons. Give them a good stir for about 30 seconds to coat in oil and then add par-boiled potatoes. You could also add some dried or fresh rosemary here which is a nice addition. Make sure all potatoes are coated with oil (give the frying pan a couple of good flips!) and then turn out potatoes/onion mixture into the hot serving dish. Give the dish a shake to spread it out evenly. Grind a little black pepper over them. Salt not needed because both the bacon and the cheese can be quite salty.

Cover dish tightly with foil and place in oven for 40 minutes. The foil helps to steam the potatoes and stop them becoming too crispy. You want a gooey, squidgy mess of potatoes and cheese and not crispy roast potatoes!

After 40 minutes remove foil and place whole block of pont l’eveque cheese (or other) in the middle on top of potatoes. Replace in oven (foil off) and cook for a further 20 minutes.

And that is that. Truly delicious cheesy, bacon-ey, roasted potatoes! And so simple!


19thfloordubai said...

Made it on Friday, loved it. And the reheated leftovers on Sat lunch.
Great site. Keep up the good work.
Fyi: not sure if you've seen this site: http://thebreakfastblog.blogspot.com/
Like the way they judge a standard dish.

Mars said...

wow! i make something really similar for a messy, sinful brunch or as comfort food for when i'm down. however my version is just spuds, thinly sliced smoked sausages, and Dhaka paneer (when available) with a dash of thai chilli sauce and just saute them in a pan until they make a crispy, but gooey mess.