Smoked Bacon with Spiced Garlic Potatoes

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This is a simple but delicious dish. The smoky taste and succulence of a Tendersweet bacon joint permeates the potatoes which cook underneath it in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, cumin and mace, with onion and tomato to make a rich juice. Only a simple green vegetable, such as steamed cabbage, is needed as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

  • 750 g1 kg (1½-2 lb) firm-textured potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • About 6 blades mace
  • 1 large onion, chopped roughly
  • 250–375 g (8-12 oz) tomatoes, chopped fairly finely
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1-1.2 kg (2–2½ lb) back or loin smoked
  • Tendersweet bacon roasting joint
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Method

Cut the potatoes into 1 cm (½ in) thick slices and lay them in the bottom of a large, deep casserole dish. Add three-quarters of the chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons of the cumin seeds, the mace, chopped onion and tomatoes, bay leaves, olive oil and the wine vinegar and mix together. Season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper.

Put the rest of the chopped garlic in a small bowl with the remaining teaspoon of cumin seeds and season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Smear this mixture all over the bacon joint, then place it on top of the potatoes. Cover the casserole and cook in the centre of a preheated oven, 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4 for 1¾–2 hours.

To serve, lift the joint on to a carving board and cut into thin slices with a sharp knife. Serve the potatoes and their juices straight from the casserole.

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