Monday, September 30, 2013

Potato Bake

Approx 800g Potatoes (I like to use Lady Cristal)
6 rashers middle bacon, diced
Olive oil – I use the Cobram Estate Garlic infused oil.
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 lge onion finely sliced
150mL thickened cream – I use the long life cream in the UHT tetra packs at room temperature. Seems to work better.
Approx 1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
Freshly ground Black pepper - LOTS

1. Scrub potatoes. Leave skin on.
2. Parboil potatoes until just tender. Set aside to cool. Parboiling can be done in a large pot with  plenty of boiling water and a pinch of salt, or in the microwave. If using the microwave, pierce the potatoes a few times with a skewer, place in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish, add water to approx 1cm up the side of the dish and cover with cling wrap. Cook on medium heat for 5 mins, then in 2 minute bursts until tender... Unless you have a “Jacket Potato” setting on your microwave, like I seem to. Mine seems to take about 18mins with this setting, but the potatoes cook more evenly than my other method.
3. In a frying pan, heat a splash of oil. Add onions and bacon. Cook on high heat until the bacon starts to brown and the onions are tender. Add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add plenty of pepper, to taste.
4. Slice the potatoes into rounds. This simple step can be quite challenging is you don’t let the potatoes cool enough before attempting to slice them – it can be done while they are hot, if you’re in a hurry, but expect the potatoes to crumble a little (or a lot) and for you to burn your fingers at least once. You have been warned.
5. Lightly grease a deep oven-proof dish. In the base, place a layer of potato, then a layer of the bacon mix, potato, bacon, potato, until all the ingredients are used. Finish with a layer of potato.
5. Pour cream evenly over the surface of the dish. Top with cheese and a sprinkle of paprika
6. Bake in a moderate oven for about 15mins or until cheese is melted, bubbling and brown in spots.

Serve with a simple grilled chop or steak and some salad. Also excellent as a side dish with barbeque.
What I normally do, if I have an even where I am wanting a potato bake is I make the potato bake the night before or first thing in the morning. When the dish is assembled, I just pop it in the fridge until about 20mins before everything else is ready. Put the dish in the oven for about 20 mins and your set. If it’s for a barbeque, or an event and I’m taking it with me to cook at the event, I usually use disposable foil trays. It makes for much easier clean up!

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