Potatoes Boulangere with Bacon. My personal spin on a classic French dish.
Literally translated ” potatoes from the baker” pommes boulangere originated in France centuries ago when in-home ovens were not a thing yet, and the baker will bake the citizen town dishes.
The small towns in the rural areas had a baker that was equipped with rather wide terracotta ovens. They baked the bread all week long for sale for the community and on Sunday, they opened the oven for everyone to use. With that said, the baker was the only person in charge of keeping the oven going.
Traditionally used on Sunday for the Sunday family lunch. On their way to mass, dishes were dropped off at the baker and picked up afterward.
I love potatoes, and throughout the years I have accumulated quite a few potatoes recipes. To me, this potato dish is the perfect comfort food side dish.
What does Boulangere mean in cooking?
It is a casserole dish that combines potatoes sliced or, as in my recipe, petite gold potatoes, peeled and quartered or sliced combined with onions and chicken stock.
A great alternative to sauteed potatoes or au gratin with loads of cheese.
You can prepare this wonderful potato boulangere with bacon in two ways: As I have it here, cooked over the stove or in the oven.
If you choose to go the oven way, you will have to layer the onions with the potatoes, add the bacon and the chicken stock. Bake it at around 325F for about 1 half hour to 2 hours or until the potatoes are tender.
The above method is perfect if you are cooking a roast or whole chicken, thus you can prepare this dish alongside while the oven is already on.
I do prefer the stovetop version. A lot faster when you have a quick dinner in mind.
Use petite gold potatoes that are all the same size. Of course, Yukon gold, as well as red potatoes, will work wonderfully here.
Make sure that they are all the same size. Either halved them or quarter them, that is up to you, however just remember the larger they are, the longer it will take to cook them.
Slice the onion very thinly, use your mandoline to save time as well as have the same thickness.
When selecting the bacon, make sure that it has a lot of meat on it versus fat. It gives a nice crunch to this dish.
Use a large skillet where all your potatoes can lay flat in it. This will prevent overcooked and undercooked.
Maintain a gentle simmer while cooking.
Do use fresh thyme, the fragrance that is transcended into the dish will not be the same with dried thyme.
Season at the last minute when the potatoes are cooked.
You can make this potato dish vegan
Omit the bacon and use olive oil to sautee the onions.
Replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
This dish looks wonderful alongside any meats, poultry dish you choose to prepare. Serve it in a beautiful baking dish, so if you need to warm it up at the last minute it can go from the warming oven to your table.
I will however recommend that you add a little more stock to ensure the potatoes are not drying too much in the process.
A perfect any night dish, but then I am partial to potatoes.
Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the bacon becomes crisp and golden brown. Using a slotted spoon transfer the bacon to a plate with a paper towel to drain all the fat out. Leave the pan over the open heat source.
Add the onion to the hot pan and fry, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes, or until the onions are soft, translucent, and start to turn golden.
Add the potatoes to the onions and fry, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until the potatoes start to become golden. Add the drained bacon and the fresh thyme. Stir to blend.
Pour over the stock, it should barely cover the potatoes. Raise the heat to bring to a small boil. Lower the heat and maintain a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes or until the stock has reduced and the potatoes are tender and glazed. Add more stock if need be.
Taste and rectify the seasoning by adding more salt and pepper.
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