These creamy scalloped potatoes with Parmesan and bacon are the ultimate comfort food. Recipe sponsored by Albert Bartlett.
This recipe for creamy scalloped potatoes with Parmesan and bacon would be really high up on my list of winter comfort foods. It is just so rich, velvety and delicious and it will make your house smell just amazing as it slowly cooks in the oven.
Scalloped potatoes, or Gratin Dauphinois if you are feeling French, require very few ingredients: potatoes, double cream, a little butter and some seasoning. So you have to use the best potatoes you can find – and here I used Albert Bartlett ‘Rooster’ potatoes which I discovered recently. They have distinctive reddish skin, slightly yellow flesh and are simply perfect for mashing or baking. The kids have been having them for dinner simply cooked in the microwave for about 8 minutes and then slathered with obscene amounts of salted butter (oh to be 11 again and never having to worry about calories).
To use them in this recipe you need to slice them really thinly – a mandolin is the best tool for that, but a really sharp knife will also work well. Just please be super-careful with either – I always end up narrowly avoiding an accident whenever I use my mandolin. I left the skin on these rooster potatoes – that’s where a lot of the nutrients are – but you could peel them, if you prefer.
I also jazzed up the basic recipe for scalloped potatoes by adding Parmesan cheese and bacon. These are both optional but they do elevate the dish from ‘wow’ to ‘OMG this is heavenly!’. You could also add very thinly sliced onion between the layers of potatoes.
Arrange your potatoes in a pretty pattern, slightly overlapping, in your buttered baking dish. Season each layer with salt and pepper and add a tablespoon of grated Parmesan and handful of cooked lardons between each layer. Pour the hot cream over the top so that is covers the potatoes and then cook until they are tender, bubbling and golden.
One thing I find with scalloped potatoes is that they always take longer to cook than you think. Make sure you pierce through the layers with a knife to see if the potatoes are actually cooked through – if not completely tender continue to cook until they are soft.
Scalloped potatoes are frequently relegated to ‘side dish’ status, but in actual fact they are so rich that even a small amount would be enough for a full meal. Maybe with some salad on the side? But you could also serve them as a side dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas when rich food is mandatory!
- 900g | 2lbs Albert Bartlett rooster potatoes, sliced thinly
- 600ml | 2½ cups double (heavy) cream
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced in half
- 2 tbsp butter, softened
- 5-6 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 200g | 7oz smoked lardons (bacon)
- salt and freshly ground pepper to season
- chopped chives to garnish
- Preheat your oven to 160C (320F). Rub the garlic around the sides and base of a 25cm (9in) ovenproof dish and then spread the butter over the dish.
- Fry the lardons in a non-stick pan for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Rinse and dry the potatoes but keep their skin on. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to slice them into thin layers.
- Layer the potatoes over the dish, seasoning with salt and pepper and adding 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan and a scattering of lardons between each layer.
- Mince the garlic you used to rub on the dish. Use the same frying pan you used for the bacon (no need to clean) to heat the cream until just below boiling point. Stir in the garlic.
- Carefully pour the hot cream over the potatoes and add a final sprinkling of Parmesan.
- Cook for 1 hour and 30 mins and then check the potatoes are soft by piercing through the layers with a sharp knife. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes if not, covering the dish with some foil.
- Scatter with with finely chopped chives and serve hot.
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