This recipe from Laura Washburn Hutton’s Home-Cooked Comforts is a great way to make a meal out of simple mashed potato. Bacon, leeks and cheese make a particularly perfect trio, but you can add just about anything to this versatile dish.
- 1kg floury potatoes, peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 small leeks, thinly sliced
- 80 g bacon or pancetta, diced
- 30 g butter
- 250 ml milk or single cream (or a bit of both)
- 1 egg, beaten
- A large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- A pinch of paprika
- 90 g firm cheese, such as Gruyère, grated
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A 24-cm round baking dish, well-buttered
- Halve or quarter the potatoes depending on their size; they should be about the same to cook evenly.
- Put them in a large saucepan, add sufficient cold water to cover, salt well and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender and easily pierced with a skewer.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan set over a low heat. Add the onion and leeks and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes, until just browned. Season with salt and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC Gas 5.
- Drain the potatoes and mash coarsely, mixing in the butter and milk. Season well and add the egg. Stir to combine thoroughly.
- Stir in the leek mixture, parsley, paprika and half the cheese. Transfer to the prepared dish and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, until well-browned. Serve immediately.