everybody’s favourite potato bake

I remember not long out of school going to a friends place for dinner. New to the whole ‘cooking on my own’ thing, I decided it’d be cool to put my hand up, “I’ll bring the potato bake”. I remember quizzing Mum to make sure that I had all the right ingredients. Potatoes, check. Bacon, check. Onion, cheese, check, check, check.

I was so proud of myself, feeling all grown up as I walked in to the “gathering” (remember the days when everything was called a “gathering”?). My borrowed rectangular casserole dish which was wrapped up in a tea towel and housed in a plastic Woolies shopping bag, fighting for space with the Bicardi breezers clanking around in my Country Road bag.

And sitting down at the table, spooning big servings of potato on to everybody’s plates, I nervously take a bite… “urghhh Doh!” I say as I bite in to raw potato, realising where I went wrong. My one BIG mistake. I forgot to boil the potatoes first like Mum always does. Whoops.

I still cringe thinking about this.

Potato Bake. THE ultimate barbie food. Potato bake’s like spaghetti bolognese. Everyone’s always tastes different don’t you think? Even though the ingredients used are generally pretty much the same.

This one is based on Mum’s famous potato bake, the main difference being the amount of cream I put in in comparison. One might call me heavy handed.

You start by slicing the spuds and throwing them on to boil (very crucial step), and then frying off some onion, bacon and garlic which takes this potato bake to a new level. Add the cream, salt and pepper, nutmeg, parsley, cheese and whack it in the oven. Because the spuds and bacon/onion mixture are already cooked, it takes less time than other versions, has loads of flavour and if done right, it’ll be the star of the show.

Give it a go.

You can use sliced ham instead of bacon too.
Make the potato bake ahead so all you need to do once your guests arrive is palm off the cooking of the meat and pour yourself a drink.

everybody’s favourite potato bake

6 x large potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
4 – 6 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
1 x brown onion, finely chopped
1 x teaspoon of minced garlic
A handful of mushrooms, sliced
300-600ml of thickened cream
A sprinkling of nutmeg
A handful of grated cheese
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
A dash of olive oil
Canola oil spray
Salt and pepper

  • Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water.
  • Meanwhile, add a dash of oil to a non stick fry pan and fry off the bacon, onion and garlic before adding the mushrooms to continue to cook.
  • Add the cream, nutmeg, some cheese, parsley and salt and pepper and turning the heat down low, let simmer away.
  • Once the spuds are cooked, drain and then simply arrange in layers in a large baking dish (sprayed with some canola oil spray), alternating between the potatoes and bacon/cream mixture until you’ve used all the ingredients up. Sprinkle more cheese on top and whack in to a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes or until browned on top.
  • Serve alongside any barbecued meat and a green salad.

If you make this potato bake please feel free to leave a comment below. xx

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