Pommes à la Basque

The Bayonne ham used in this recipe is a raw, smoked product and not easy to find. A good quality ham may have to do instead.

Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, cleaned
  • 4 large tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded, cut in small strips
  • 1 large red pepper, de-seeded, cut in small strips
  • 4 slices Bayonne ham
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A little melted butter
  • Breadcrumbs

Method

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and scoop out the centres (reserve this for soup). Parboil the potato shells for about 10 minutes in salted water, and while you are doing this prepare the tomatoes as stated above. Do the same with the peppers, only leave the skin intact and cook the pieces briefly in a little butter. Cut the ham into strips.

Oil a deep dish, fill the potato cases with the other vegetables and the ham, seasoning as you go, and pour a little melted butter over each. Cook in a moderate oven (gas mark 5/375°F/190°C) for 45 minutes or until soft. When cooked, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and brown under a grill.

In France in the seventeenth century potatoes were hardly cultivated at all and were known as ‘truffe’ and ‘truffe rouge’.

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