Potatoes of the Grape Gatherers of Burgundy

It was the name of this dish that first captivated me. Its charm, however, is not only in its name. Visually, gastronomically and for simplicity of assembly, Potatoes of the Grape Gatherers of Burgundy is an unrivalled dish.

Ingredients

  • lb (700 g) potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 12 oz (350 g) smoked streaky bacon
  • 3 oz (75 g) grated Cheddar-type cheese
  • 12 oz (350 g) unsmoked low salt bacon
  • 3 oz (75 g) butter

Method

In an ovenproof dish lay half the smoked bacon. Put half the potato slices in a layer on the bacon. Sprinkle with a little cheese. Cover with the unsmoked bacon, then the rest of the potatoes and the remaining grated cheese. Finish with a layer of smoked bacon. Dot with little pieces of the butter.

Cover with damp greaseproof paper and cook for 1 hour at gas mark 7/425°F/220°C. During the last 20 minutes of cooking time take off the paper so the whole dish develops a magnificent golden crust. Turn out onto a large warmed dish and eat very hot.

‘I am told that the Burgundians are forbidden to make use of these tubers, because they are assured that the eating of them causes leprosy, and they call them the artichokes of the Indies.’

From Prodromos by Gaspard Bauhin, 1620.

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