Potato and Bacon Dauphinoise

Potato and Bacon Dauphinoise

I love Jamie Oliver. I love his cook books, I love his TV shows, I just love him to bits. I saw Jamie Oliver make this Dauphinoise* on his 30 Minute Meals show, and knew that I’d have to give it a try. It was so simple but had a few little extra touches that turn a good old fashioned potato bake into something fancy.

I’ve made this three times now. Once for friends with the whole 30 Minute Meals shebang, where it rocked their socks off. Once for Potato Day, a potato themed celebration with friends (oy, my guts hurt at the end of that day…). And once for family over Easter, with roast shoulder of lamb and roast pork belly (thanks Nanette!). Each and every time it has been a crowd pleaser.

BUT. I can’t just leave a good recipe well enough alone. To me, this needed bacon. Sorry Jamie, but it’s true. And I’m sure if he’d allowed himself a couple more minutes he would have thrown some bacon in there too. Without further ado, I give you Jamie’s Dauphinoise, with Bacon, adapted from here.

Potato and Bacon Dauphinoise

(that’s potato bake to you + me)

Parentals, pay heed to the tips in blue.

6 rashers middle bacon, chopped
1 red onion
1kg Maris Piper potatoes
1 nutmeg
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 300ml tub of single cream
4 anchovies in oil
Parmesan cheese
2 bay leaves
a very small bunch of fresh thyme

Tell your partner-in-parenting that you’ve got far too much to do and that they’ll need to look after the kiddo while you prepare food for the hoard.

Put a frying pan on over high heat and fry off bacon until almost crispy. Peel and halve the red onion. Wash the potatoes, leave their skins on and slice in the food processor with the onion (I used my V-Slicer cos I don’t have a food processor …. did the world just collectively gasp?). Tip into a large sturdy roasting tray (approx. 35 x 25cm) and season. Grate over¼ of the nutmeg, crush in 2 unpeeled cloves of garlic and pour in 225ml of single cream.
Tear in the anchovies and finely grate over a large handful of Parmesan. Add the bay leaves, pick the leaves from a few thyme sprigs and add a good drizzle of olive oil. Use your clean hands to quickly mix and toss everything together, then put the tray over a medium heat. Pour in 200ml of boiled water, cover tightly with tin foil and leave on the heat.

If you’re not doing the whole 30 Minute Meal shebang then pour yourself a glass of wine, peruse Instagram, and give the tray of potatoes a shake occasionally so nothing catches. Be on guard to look flustered and extremely busy if the partner-in-parenting  passes by.

After about 15 minutes, remove the tin foil. Finely grate over a layer of Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining thyme sprigs with oil, scatter on top and put into the oven on the top shelf to cook for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling. Serve, or allow to cool to a manageable temperature before transporting to your hungry hoard.

While everyone is praising your amazing cooking skills make sure you loudly talk up the amazing support of your hard working partner-in-parenting, without whom you could not so fantastically duplicate the efforts of Sir Jamie. Toast Sir Jamie.

*Google tells me that Dauphinoise is French for potato gratin. So yes, this is essentially a recipe for Potato and Bacon Potato Gratin. I’ll have to ask you all to pardon my French.

Have you served up a crowd pleaser lately?