It has been a long time since I made a good old potato bake, but I had a sudden craving a few weeks ago! So I grabbed my James Martin cookbook, scribbled down his recipe for dauphinois which I had been wanting to try and took it on our holiday to make for the fam on one of our braai evenings. Me being me I tweaked the recipe and added a few extra bits and pieces, and it tasted amazing! Potatoes, cream, two cheeses and bacon – I’m there! And making a dish that gets a thumbs up from the entire family is always a bonus.
I love this cheesy potato bake recipe because you can pop everything in the dish, whack it in the oven and forget about it for a bit while you relax – preferably around a fire with something cold in your hand! The recipe also makes a large dish and we had enough leftovers to have with our supper the following evening.
There are quite a few distinct flavours in the dish – garlic, nutmeg and rosemary (not forgetting the bacon!) are a few, but they combine beautifully in this creamy potato bake. Make it soon!
- Use a very sharp knife or mandolin to get the thinnest slices of potato.
- You can replace the parmesan cheese with cheddar cheese if you prefer, or try pecorino instead.
BACON AND CHEESE POTATO BAKE
- 30g butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 200g bacon, diced
- 1kg potatoes
- 1 cup full cream milk
- 2 cups pouring cream
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
- ½ red onion, chopped
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
1.) Preheat your oven to 160ºC. Grease a 30cm x 25cm oven dish with the butter.
2.) Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the bacon and fry until crispy. Set aside.
3.) Peel the potatoes and slice them as thinly as you can. Pat them dry, then cover with a tea towel and set aside.
4.) Place the milk, cream, garlic, rosemary, red onion and nutmeg in a large pot. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Heat the mixture until it starts to boil. Once you see bubbles forming at the edge of the pot remove from the heat.
5.) Layer half of the potato slices in the oven dish, letting them overlap slightly. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle half of the crispy bacon bits on top. Carefully pour half of the hot cream mixture over the potatoes.
6.) Layer the remaining potato slices on top, followed by the rest of the bacon bits. Pour over the leftover cream. Sprinkle the parmesan and cheddar cheese over the top.
7.) Bake for 1½-2 hours until the potatoes are tender. Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.