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Posts Tagged ‘Bacon’

Friday Night Tartiflette

Reblochon season begins in May so it’s time to indulge in a Tartiflette. If you want to try a sophisticated version then we recommend the Chicken Tartiflette we posted this time last year but it does take a bit of time and effort. This one is much quicker and almost as tasty.

Wine Suggestion: We’d suggest an oaked Chardonnay that has a good balance between fruit and texture, but not too tropical or oily. We quite often go for the Rustenberg from Stellenbosch, or one of the Javillier Bourgogne Blancs as we have good access to these and they over-deliver in quality, but there are many other options you could choose.

Tartiflette – serves 4

  • 500g new potatoes, sliced into 1cm thick slices
  • 200g rindless streaky bacon, cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 100g cheddar or gruyere, grated
  • a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped
  • 200ml cream
  • 200g Reblochon cheese, sliced into thin wedges

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Cook the potato slices in boiling salted water until tender – start checking after 10 minutes, then drain.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon bits until light brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Cook the onion in the bacon fat for a few minutes until softened then add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Spread the cooked potatoes over the bottom of a baking dish. Scatter over the onion and garlic, then the cheddar cheese, thyme and bacon. Pour over the cream, season, and top with the slices of Reblochon.

Bake in the hot oven for 15-20 minute or until browned and bubbling.

Serve with a green salad.

 

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Buttered Sprouts with Chestnuts & Bacon

Sprouts are not just for Christmas and indeed should be eaten throughout the frosty months in our opinion. We particularly like this recipe with butter, bacon bits and chestnuts – a sprout-lovers dream!

Buttered sprouts with chestnuts & bacon – serves 8 (easily halved)

  • 1.25kg Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 6 rashers streaky smoked bacon cut into bit-sized pieces or cubes of pancetta
  • 200g vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • 50g butter

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and tip in the sprouts. Return to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, then drain and run under the cold tap until cold, then drain again.

Heat a large frying pan, add the bacon and gently fry for 10 minutes until crispy. Scoop the bacon out of the pan with a slotted spoon and leave the fat behind, then add the chestnuts and fry over a high heat for about 5 minutes until they have darkened in places, then tip out of the pan.

Put the sprouts into the frying pan with a splash of water, then cover the pan with a lid and finish cooking over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove the cover, turn up the heat, then add most of the butter and sauté the sprouts for another 2 minutes. Tip in the bacon and chestnuts, season generously, then serve with the last bit of butter on top.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine, December 2009.)

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Broadbeans with pancetta

A tasty side dish that works at any time of the year provided you’ve a stash of broad beans in the freezer.

Broad beans with pancetta – serves 4

  • 500g frozen broad beans
  • 70g cubetti di pancetta
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • a small bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped

Cook the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain and remove from the skins.

Fry the pancetta in a dry pan until the fat runs, then turn the heat up and brown well. Add the shallots for a couple of minutes to soften, then add the broad beans to heat through. Stir through the parsley and season before serving.

 

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Chicken Tartiflette

Reblochon cheese from the Alps arrives in the cheese shops from May and reminds us to make tartiflette, the famous dish from France’s Haute-Savoie region made with cheese, bacon, potatoes and onions.  This version also has chicken and kale and it needs no accompaniment. It makes a hefty portion but it’s hard not to go back for more.

Wine Suggestion: We would suggest finding a white from the Jura, usually made from Savagnin, Chardonnay, or a blend of the two. Even better try to find a Vin Jaune, which is aged in oak under a Voile, similar to the Flor of sherry, and with similar characteristics. We had a beautiful Côtes du Jura, the Cuvée de Garde by Anne & Jean-François Ganevat. An equal blend of the two grapes and held under voile for 48 months (not long enough to classify as a Vin Jaune) which allowed the fruit to sing alongside the nutty, voile aromas.

Chicken tartiflette – serves 4 (generously)

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium chicken, about 1.5kg, jointed into 8 pieces (we used 8 chicken thighs)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 200ml white wine
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

FOR THE TARTIFLETTE:

  • 1kg waxy potatoes, like Charlotte, sliced 1cm thick
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 50g plain flour
  • 300ml double cream
  • 400g curly kale, blanched in boiling water for 3 minutes and roughly chopped (discard any thick stalks)
  • 400g Reblochon cheese, broken or cut into pieces

Start by cooking the chicken. Heat a large sauté pan over a high heat, add the olive oil and the chicken pieces – skin side down to start. Cook until browned all over, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan then add the onion and garlic and sweat until the onion has softened. Add the white wine and reduce until almost evaporated. Add the chicken stock, thyme and bay, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a very gentle simmer (you might need to transfer to a large pot to fit it all in).

Return the chicken pieces to the pan and cook very gently until just cooked – about 10 minutes for the breasts. Remove any breast pieces from the pan with some of the broth and leave to cool in the broth. Continue to cook the leg meat for another 30 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to cool in the broth.

When cooled take the chicken out of the broth, remove the skin and bones and cut into large pieces. Strain the broth and reserve for later.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Simmer the potato slices in boiling, salted water until almost tender, then drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the bacon lardons and cook until coloured, then remove from the pan and add the onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, then stir in the garlic. Add the flour and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the cream with 200ml of the reserved strained chicken braising liquid and slowly bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from the heat and season.

Fold the chicken and bacon through the cream mixture, along with the kale, 300g of the cheese and the potatoes. Pour into a large baking dish and top with the remaining 100g of cheese, then bake until golden brown (about 20 to 30 minutes).

(Original recipe from The Skills by Monica Galetti, Quadrille, 2016.)

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Rabbit with onions and rosemary

A rustic French dish with meltingly tender rabbit. Serve with the lamb’s lettuce salad (included in the recipe) and some roasted baby potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: This goes great with with a nice Cabernet Franc from the Loire, like a Saumur or Chinon if the weather is bright and warming up for Spring. Alternately we love the richer, more velvety wines of La Clape in the Languedoc if it’s a cooler Winter day.

Rabbit with onions & rosemary – serves 6

  • 2kg rabbit portions
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 600ml white wine
  • 425ml chicken stock
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 6 rashers streaky bacon, thinly sliced
  • chopped parsley to serve

FOR THE LAMB’S LETTUCE SALAD:

  • 140g lamb’s lettuce
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Season the rabbit joints on both sides and sprinkle lightly with flour.

Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a large heavy pan, then quickly fry the rabbit in batches over a high heat to brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the onions over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until browned. Return the rabbit to the pan with the bay, rosemary, wine and stock. Cover and cook for 50-60 minutes or until the rabbit is soft.

Add the mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes, then taste and season.

Meanwhile, grill the bacon until crispy, then break into chunks. Sprinkle the rabbit with the bacon and parsley before serving.

To make the salad: 

Tip the lettuce leaves into a large bowl. Mix the shallot, vinegar & mustard, then set aside for 10 minutes. Add some salt and pepper, then gradually whisk in the oil until the dressing has thickened. Toss with the lettuce just before serving.

(Original recipe by Mary Cadogan IN: BBC Good Food Magazine, March 2008.)

Rabbit w onions & rosemary

 

 

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Spaghetti Carbonara

A sort of carbonara-style dish but far from authentic. It’s tasty though, and we get requests for this version so we’ll keep making it.

Wine Suggestion: We opened a bottle of the Colterenzio Pinot Bianco from Alto Adige/Südtirol for our guests and it went very well. If in doubt we try to choose a wine similar to the origin of the food; a good rule if you’re stuck.

Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Bacon & Cream – serves 4

  • 350g spaghetti
  • 150g unsmoked streaky bacon, cut across into very thin strips
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g small chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 85g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cook the pasta in lots of boiling salted water according to the time indicated on the pack.

Meanwhile, heat a large, deep, non-stick frying pan and fry the bacon over a low heat until the fat starts to run. Add 1tbsp of the olive oil, increase the heat, and keep cooking for another 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.

Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the same pan, then add the mushrooms and garlic and fry over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden. Set aside.

Combine the eggs and most of the Parmesan in a small bowl (reserve enough cheese to sprinkle over at the end). Season well with salt and black pepper. When the pasta is almost done, return the frying pan to a low heat. Scoop out a cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain.

Tip the spaghetti into the warm pan with the bacon and mushrooms. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the eggs and cheese. Stir in the cream and about 120ml of the reserved pasta water. Use some tongs to toss the spaghetti with the other ingredients.

Divide the spaghetti between 4 warm bowls and scatter over the parsley, reserved Parmesan and some more black pepper.

(Original recipe from Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect, DK, 2014.)

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Kassler roasted with cabbage & potatoes

Our mate Brett got us this genuine Kassler, a pork loin expertly cured and lightly smoked by Ed Hicks in Dun Laoghaire. If you can’t find Kassler use a smoked bacon loin or rack and prepare yourself for the best bacon & cabbage ever.

Wine Suggestion: We chose a classic white Burgundy, 100% Chardonnay made in oak from a winemaker in Meursault, Patrick Javillier. He makes a couple of Bourgogne Blanc’s from a couple of very particular sites in Meursault and boy are they good. This time we chose his Cuvée Oligocene which is a vineyard partly in Meursault and partly in the ordinary Burgundy classification (despite it being the same soils and aspect). This makes this wine a bargain and we love it.

Roast Bacon with Cabbage & Potatoes – serves 6-8

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 450g savoy cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1kg boned kassler/smoked bacon loin or rack
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

For the Sauce

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 50ml Madeira or Port
  • 1-3 tbsp Dijon mustard

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain.

Par-boil the cabbage in another large pan of lightly salted water for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander and refresh with cold water, then use your hands to squeeze out the excess water.

Put the bacon into a large roasting tray and place in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes before adding the butter. When the butter has melted, add the potatoes and roast together for 20 minutes, turning the bacon & potatoes in the butter now and then.

Now push the potatoes and bacon to one side and add the cabbage. Season the potatoes and cabbage with salt and roast for another 10 minutes, turning everything in the smoky butter.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter in a small pan and adding the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then take off the heat and whisk in the chicken stock until smooth. Place back on the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 40 minutes in total remove the bacon from the oven and check that the potatoes and cabbage are cooked. Transfer the vegetables to a warm serving platter, then slice the bacon and arrange on top. Keep warm.

To finish the sauce, de-glaze the juices in the roasting tin with the Maderia or Port and add to the sauce. Whisk in the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Original recipe by Paul Rankin.)

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Roussillon baked potatoes

Very simple and utterly delicious. Baked potatoes reach a whole new level when you mix the cooked potato with the toppings before baking for a second time.

Roussillon baked potatoes – serves 2

  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 30g butter
  • 4 streaky bacon rashers, 2 chopped
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 30g blue cheese, crumbled (we used Roquefort)
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºC/gas mark 6.

Wash the potatoes and pat some salt flakes over the skin, then bake for about 1 hour or until tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming, then add the chopped bacon and onion. Cook until the onion is soft but not coloured.

Halve the potatoes, scoop out the insides without breaking the skins. Mash the scooped out potato with the fried onion & bacon, cheese, egg, parsley and some freshly ground pepper (we prefer white pepper for potatoes but black is fine too). Pile the potato mixture back into the potato skins, top with the 2 uncooked bacon rashers and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Octopus Publishing, 2010.)

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Courgette Carbonara

We are getting close to the last courgettes for the season and what a way to celebrate this humble vegetable … delicious!

Wine Suggestion: We drank an Aligote from Jean Fournier in Burgundy. Aligote is completely underrated and we don’t see it often, but this example shows why we should: fresh, rich and full of fruit but with a core of crisp acidity and earthiness that makes it sing alongside the eggy cream, add layers to the pancetta and parmesan and make the courgettes even more silky.

Courgette Carbonara – serves 6 generously

  • 6 medium green & yellow courgettes
  • 500g penne pasta
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 big handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • 12 thick slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunky lardons
  • small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Halve and quarter the courgettes lengthways. Discard any fluffy bits from the middle and slice at an angle into similar sized shapes to the penne. If you have small courgettes you can just slice them finely.

Cook the penne according to the pack instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, put the egg yolks into a bowl and add the cream and half the Parmesan. Mix with a fork. Season lightly and set aside.

Heat a very large frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta/bacon until dark brown & crispy. Add the courgette slices and a very generous grind of black pepper. Add the thyme leaves, and stir to make sure the courgettes are well coated with the bacony oil, then fry until turning lightly golden and starting to soften.

Drain the pasta and reserve the cooking water. Immediately toss the pasta into the courgette pan, then take off the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved pasta water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly but don’t put back on the heat.

Add the rest of the Parmesan, and a bit more cooking water if needed, to give you a silky sauce. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2007.)

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This takes a dish we all love and gives it something special. As celeriac is in season, and very cheap at the moment, we’ve made this a lot recently and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. We haven’t tried it with the optional bacon yet but it tastes great without it.

Celeriac, potato & rosemary gratin – serves 4-6

  • 6 rashers bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 420ml double cream
  • 350ml milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 celeriac (about 500g) peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

If you are using the bacon, grill it until cooked and lightly browned, then set aside.

Bring cream, milk, garlic, rosemary, chilli and mustard to the  boil in a medium saucepan, then turn off.

Pour a little of the cream mixture into the bottom of a gratin dish. Arrange a layer of celeriac, scatter with bacon and season. Pour over a bit more cream and repeat the process, alternating layers of potato and celeriac, finishing with a potato layer. Cover with the rest of the cream mixture, then bake for 1 hr-1hr 15 mins or until golden and tender to the point of a knife. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Bacon, Broccoli & Pesto Pasta

We like simple pasta dishes for when we’re feeling tired and uninspired. You can easily get the ingredients for this on your way home.

Wine Suggestion: A Chianti, as we felt like it and it worked really well with the combination of flavours.

Pasta with Bacon, Broccoli & Pesto – serves 4

  • 300-400g short pasta shapes (depending on how hungry you are)
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 8 rashers of smoked bacon
  • 5 tbsp pesto
  • grated Parmesan, to serve

Cook the pasta according to the pack and add the broccoli about 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

When cooked, drain but keep a cup of the cooking water.

Grill the bacon until crisp (we use a gas barbecue for less mess), then cut into bite-size pieces.

Tip everything into the pasta pan, toss together and loosen with a little bit of pasta water if you like.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan to serve.

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Wedges with bacon “soil” and gorgonzola

These are very delicious and perfect to share out of a big bowl in front of the TV on a Friday night – or at least that’s what we did. The bacony crumbs are a revelation! We expected the bacon to be problematic and to dry out in the oven but not in the slightest, the cooking just seems to intensify the flavours a bit and the “crumb” texture spreads through the dish perfectly.

Potato Wedges with Gorgonzola Sauce – serves 4

  • 1 kg medium floury potatoes
  • 8 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 250ml double cream
  • 150g Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Scrub the potatoes and leave the skins on. Cut them in half lengthways, then into chunky wedges. Cook in boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until getting close to tender. Drain and tip into a roasting tin.

Fry the streaky bacon in a little oil until very crisp or barbecue them like we did. Put the cooked bacon into a food processor with the chilli flakes, groundnut oil and smoked paprika and whizz until it looks like very fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs over the wedges and toss gently to coat. Bake for about an hour or until crispy and sizzling.

Warm 250ml double cream in a small non-stick pan, add the Gorgonzola and stir gently until melted. Trickle the warm sauce over the wedges to serve or serve on the side as dip.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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We made this for a Saturday breakfast and really enjoyed the playful balance of flavours. The pancakes are light, fluffy and not too sweet.

Banana pancakes with maple syrup and smokey bacon – serves 4

  • 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon (or pancetta strips)
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas, 1 mashed, 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 25g butter, melted, plus a little extra
  • 125ml milk
  • maple syrup

Cook the bacon or pancetta under a hot grill, on a tray lined with foil, until crispy and keep warm.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the mashed banana, eggs, butter and milk. Whisk until you have a smooth batter without any floury lumps.

Heat a little butter in a large frying pan until sizzling. Ladle in small dollops of batter and put a few slices of banana on the surface of each pancake. Cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat and turn when bubbles appear on the surface of the batter. Cook for 1 more minute on the other side or until puffed up and golden brown. Keep warm while you use the rest of the batter. Serve the pancakes topped with the crispy bacon and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is delicious but very rich, plus a little goes a long way! We found this a really good twist on a classic.

Carbonara Cabbage – serves 8

  • 1kg Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 12 rashers streaky bacon, chopped small
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 250ml single cream
  • 50g Parmesan, grated

Cook the cabbage for 10 minutes in a large pan of boiling salted water. Drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon in a large frying pan for 7-8 minutes or until crispy, adding the garlic for the final few minutes.

Mix the cream and Parmesan in a bowl with some black pepper. Add the cream mixture and the cabbage to the bacon pan and toss everything together really well. Warm through for a few minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This simple salad makes a tasty main meal.

Bean, Bacon & Spinach Salad – to serve 4

  • 12 rashers streaky bacon
  • 4 tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • few handfuls of roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and sliced
  • 2 cans of borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
  • bag of baby spinach leaves

Heat a large frying pan and fry the bacon, without adding any extra oil, until brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. If there is a lot of fat pour some off but leave a tablespoon or so. Tear the bacon into bite-size pieces.

Add the Sherry vinegar to the pan and let it bubble for a few seconds. scraping any crispy bits form the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the beans and peppers and season, then stir gently until heated through. Take off the heat and stir through the spinach and bacon.

Drink with: a nice dry but fruity rosé from Provence or a rosé made from Syrah from the northern Rhône.

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