So… I got asked to bring potato bake to Christmas dinner and had to admit I don’t remember actually cooking it before (I may have erased some memories of one or two failed attempts when in high school).
Now every body loves a good potato bake. But for a potato bake to be good, it’s got to piping hot, the potatoes have to be thin and tender and easy to cut through, and doused in a rich, creamy cheese sauce in the midst of a perfect balance of onion and salty bacon.
That’s where this recipe comes in.
People said they liked it at the Christmas dinner (despite having left it in the oven for way too long), and I got asked to bake another batch for a different party the next week and that received stellar reviews too, so I’m going to say it’s pretty good.
I’m guessing part of its success is that the potato slices were nice, thin and even – which is when having a mandolin slicer really comes in handy. With a mandolin slicer, I can slice up ten potatoes in less than ten minutes and they come out perfect and ready to layer evenly along the bottom of the baking dish.
I’m also going to guess it’s the cheese “sauce”, which, by the way, was a complete fluke. I’d asked my husband to buy a kilo of tasty cheese for this dish and he bought a block of it instead of the pre-grated bag, which was not exactly a mistake, and ended up being quite a blessing, because I probably wouldn’t have experimented with the cheese and the cream. Once that’s heated through, start pouring it over the layers of potatoes.
Then add the bacon and spring onion. Mmmm-mmmm..
And repeat until you run out of potatoes. If you love your potato bake extra cheesy, you can always add some grated cheese on top of each layer of bacon. Oh man… just thinking about that makes my stomach rumble.
Don’t forget to leave a bit of spring onion, bacon and grated cheese to sprinkly on top after the first hour of cooking. That way you can get this heavenly golden, crunchy goodness:
Got a secret to your favourite potato bake recipe? I’d love to hear it. Let me know if you try this and how you go.
- Melted butter, to grease 2.5L (10-cup) ovenproof baking dish
- 1 x 500ml ctn thin cream
- 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 50g grated Tasty cheese
- 1.5kg sebago (brushed) potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
- 3-4 stems of shallots, thinly sliced
- 100g thinly shredded bacon or ham
- 60g (3/4 cup) finely shredded parmesan
- Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease ovenproof baking dish with melted butter.
- Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until heated through. Add grated tasty cheese and stir until all is mixed together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange half the potato slices over the base of the prepared dish. Sprinkle with ⅓ the shallots and bacon. Pour over half the cream mixture. Continue layering with the remaining potato slices, shallots, bacon, and cream mixture leaving some shallots and bacon to the side for the final layer.
- Cover with foil and place on a baking tray. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until potato is tender. Scatter final layer of bacon and shallots over the potato bake and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake, uncovered, for a further 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and the potato is very tender.
- Set aside for 15 minutes to cool. Serve hot.