Monday, February 09, 2015

I love potato gratin.  Its food that hugs you back.
Potatoes, butter and cream all golden and bubbling under the blistering heat of the oven- yes please, anytime of the day, thank you.

It makes sense that such a fabulous dish can really only get better with a dash of sparkle and a pinch of magic.  Now if we are talking food magic and sparkles, by that,  I mean caramelized onions and crispy bacon, of course.  Just for the record, sage and onion are best friends so it would be unfair to separate them at this stage and so I give you this fabulous combo of flavours in bubbly potato gratin form.

You can thank me later, for now it's time to get peeling....
There are quite a few stages to this recipe but none of them are complicated.  Perfect weekend cooking.

Peel, then chop two white onions into thin slices. Heat 20g butter and  2tsp. oil in a large pan.  Cook the onions over a medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then until golden. Stir in 1tsp. sugar and cook a minute or two longer.

Cook about 10 slices of bacon till crisp and golden (any method & type you prefer).  Cool and crumble ready to top the gratin.

2kg potatoes, peeled
500 ml milk
500 ml heavy cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
Handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped finely into strips
1 tablespoon sea salt and a good grind of black pepper.
50 g butter

  • Preheat the oven to 240°C /450ºF.
  • Cut the peeled potatoes into slices approx. 1cm / ¼ inch thick.  Place them into a large saucepan with the milk, garlic clove and salt. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the potatoes are just tender, but not dissolving into mush.  Test by sticking a knife into a potato slice.  Once ready stir in the caramelised onions and most of the sage and fish out the garlic clove and discard.  Add the black pepper and taste the creamy sauce for seasoning- adjust as needed.  
  • Use 1/4 of the butter to grease a large roasting tin (37 x 30cm / 15 x 12 inches) and pour the milk and potato mixture into it. Dot with the remaining butter, sprinkle with the remaining sage and crispy bacon pieces and cook in the oven for 15 minutes or until the potato is bubbly and deliciously golden brow on top. 
  • Remove from the oven and (if you cant resist) let stand for 10 minutes for the bubbles to calm down before you tuck in! 

This gratin is decedent, rich and perfectly balanced.  The perfect weekend treat.

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