Recipe – Potato and bacon cake
How many variations on this wonderfully simple dish can there be I ask myself?
Part of the beauty of cooking for me is the fact that you are never too old to learn and gain new ideas from all types of avenues and this simple but very tasty combination of ingredients just works so well. One of my favourite dishes to cook in a restaurant has been for a long time, the French Sarladaise potato which originates from the Perigord region in South West France. Classically it is just sliced potato, garlic and duck fat but as with many recipes over time they evolve and about 12 years ago I was taught one that also contained bacon and thyme. The potatoes were baked, scooped out, fresh thyme, crisp bacon (pancetta actually) duck fat and seasoning added, then the mix was pressed into small non stick moulds then placed in a sauce pan of oil bain-marie style and cooked until the outside were crispy and the inside was hot and soft. Truly delicious and anyway I had some mashed potatoes left and some pata negra and chorizo the other day, as well as a few other bits and pieces (as you do) lying around the kitchen and decided to make my own variation on this classic dish. I ended up doing something of a cross over between the French Sarladaise, the English bubble and squeak and the Italian gateau di patate” or “pizza di patate”
Recipe – Makes 2 main course size cakes approx 250g each
- 300g Mashed potatoes
- 50g bacon grilled until crisp. (On this occasion, I used Pata negra and chorizo left over from here, but any form of ham or pork sausage will work well, variations explained in the chef’s tips )
- 60g Mozzarella sliced thin
- 50g Peas and sweetcorn
- 25g Melted butter
- Pre-heat oven to moderately hot
- Combine all above ingredients, less the mozzarella and form into patty/cake shapes
- Place the mozzarella in the centre of the cake then press the potato mix around the cheese to seal the cheese in the centre of the cake
- Dust lightly in seasoned flour
- Pre-heat a non stick frying pan until just smoking, then add a touch of oil of your choice. I used olive oil as my preference.
- Carefully place the potato cake into the pan and maintaining a moderate heat, cook the cake until golden, then turn and colour the other side.
- Transfer to the oven and cook for 5 or 6 mins to heat through
- I served this at home as a simple but very tasty main course with some home made Romesco sauce
- Any variety of ham or pork sausage will do, from a standard bacon or pancetta, ventreche, chorizos, kebanos, falukorv sausage etc, all will work well in their own right
- Smaller, refined variations can be used in a fine dining dish too, or even smaller variations for canapes or finger food