This is probably my favourite potato dish, apart from a steaming bowl of freshly dug, boiled new potatoes smothered in fresh mint butter.
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 small onions, peeled and sliced thinly
- 6 rashers of unsmoked bacon, cut into thin strips about 1cm long
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed finely
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley
- 200 white wine
- 1.5 kg potatoes washed, peeled and sliced 1/4 cm thick using a Japanese mandolin
- 1.5 boiling well flavoured stock, half chicken, half lamb
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pre heat the oven to 180C Gas 4.
- Do not wash the potatoes after slicing, as the starch helps to keep the finished dish in one piece.
- Butter or oil a 33cm x 28cm baking dish.
- Heat the oil, fry the onions and bacon until they have softened slightly, add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the herbs and mix in.
- Add the white wine, then bring to a boil and reduce until nearly all the wine has been absorbed.
- Place the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish, from left to right, taking care to overlap by at least half of each slice. Even when you start the second row, make sure the next row overlaps the first. This makes it a lot easier to lift out when cooked.
- Season the layer with salt and pepper.
- Spoon over half of the onion and bacon mixture. Top with a second thin layer of potato. Add the last of the onion mixture and a final layer of potato (4 or 5 in total). Make sure to season each layer.
- Pour around the outside edge enough boiling stock to fill up the tray 3/4 of the way up the potato. Press down lightly with a potato masher.
- Cover tightly with foil and pop into the oven. Cook for about 1 hour, or until the potatoes are very soft when pierced with a knife.
- When cooked, remove from the oven, and take off the foil and press down with a potato masher.
- Spoon over the melted butter and return the tray to the oven uncovered.
- Turn the oven up slightly to 200C Gas 6 and cook the potato until the stock has been absorbed and reduced, and the top is nicely glazed. Every so often, press down slightly with the masher.
- When cooked, remove from the oven. I use a piece of cardboard covered in cling film to fit the dish, press down with a masher, then cover with foil and then the card. Next, add a couple of cans to press it down. Cool and chill well.
- To serve, cut in neat squares and reheat in a microwave.
- I sometimes eat this dish on its own or topped with some roasted beets and a fried egg.
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