Cheese. Bacon. Potato. Three of the most beautiful words in the English language, all put to very good use by Patricia Wells in this recipe for a cheese and bacon potato cake adapted from her fantastic book Simply French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon. Wells calls for clarified butter, but regular butter will do just fine. Softly scrambled eggs are the perfect accompaniment for this wonderful creation.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 20 slices of thinly sliced bacon, cut in half
- 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated imported Gruyere cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Butter the bottom and sides of the pan. Arrange the bacon slices, spiral fashion, on the bottom and sides of the pan. Allow the bacon to drape over the edge. Set aside.
Peel the potatoes, rinse under cold running water, and pat dry. Slice into thin rounds using a mandolin or food processor, rinse again, and dry thoroughly in a thick towel.
Arrange one third of the potato slices on top of the bacon, and sprinkle with one third of the cheese. Repeat, creating two additional layers of potatoes and cheese. Fold the overhanging bacon onto the potatoes.
Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes offer no resistance when pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer it to a rack. Let it rest, still covered, for 15 minutes, so that the potatoes will unmold easily. Unmold the potatoes onto a warmed serving platter, season generously with freshly ground black pepper, and serve, cutting into wedges.