Bacon and Potato Hotpot

With the New Year inevitably comes the enforced January guilt. We weigh too much, we drink too much, we spend too much. I do weigh too much…but frankly I love food and it’s my go to comfort. I do drink too much…but again…I like it. So that leaves money. Well I don’t spend too much because it’s in very short supply in the first instance. January, however, is slightly more sparsely populated with the folding stuff than the rest of the year (excepting May, there are a ridiculous amount of birthdays in May!) All of which means January has to cost much less than the rest of the year.

This is a recipe that I have been doing for years.It was published in my column in Live 247 magazine this month but it originates from a wine bar in Cheltenham called the Retreat where I blagged my first cooking job. (I told them I could cook, I couldn’t and so they taught me. Thank you Lella Dey!)

Enjoy! Elley x

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized onions, peeled, halved and finely sliced.
  • 250g pack of smoked bacon (if you don’t like smoked then use the other and streaky or back according to your preference) cut into strips
  • 1.25kg / 2 ½ lbs of potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced.
  • 1 tbsp grated parmesan (from a packet is fine)
  • 284ml/10fl oz cream (double or single depending what is left in the ‘fridge. If no cream to hand make a white sauce from butter, flour and milk)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Using a half sized Aga Roasting tin or similar dish layer first some thinly sliced potatoes, onions, and then bacon. Grind some pepper over and then repeat until you have layered up the whole lot finishing with a layer of potatoes.
  2. More pepper for good measure and then pour over the cream or white sauce, which will seep down through the layers.
  3. Finally sprinkle over the parmesan.
  4. Hang the roasting dish from the bottom set of runners in your Roasting Oven (conventional ovens about 200C) and cook for about 45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and top is golden.
  5. Serve with a green salad or green leafy veg.

I sometimes substitute chicken for the bacon if we have some left over from a Sunday roast and chuck in some frozen peas. You could always use a chicken stock made from a cube and cut out/down the cream if you do this.

Happy penny pinching!

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