Nine o’clock last night was, Julia tells me, the 21st hour of the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st Century. Unfortunately she didn’t tell me until later so I was unable to savour the moment. I will have to wait until 10pm on 22nd January 2122 for the next similar event. I suspect that despite advances in medical science I’m not going to be around for that.
I had another go at bacon casserole this week. The last attempt, the Panhaggerty, wasn’t quite right so I looked for a new recipe and gave it a try. I didn’t make a note of the recipe and can’t find it again. However, don’t despair – there are hundreds of them if you want one, or try this.
Cut potatoes into slices, I used about five potatoes of about medium size. Par boil. I did them for five minutes, I may give them 7 next time, though five worked.
You probably should cut onions into rings as it will look better. I had some ready chopped onion and three small leeks so I used them.
Black pepper, stock cube, grated cheese.
Fry the bacon and then soften the onions/leeks.
Put in a layer of potato, the onions/leeks and another layer of potato, then bacon, then potato. I used freshly ground black pepper on each layer of potato (it’s easier to see how much you put on if you add it that way. The dishes I used are about an inch and a half deep so that’s enough layers.
Make the stock and pour it in until it nearly covers the potatoes. Cover with foil, cook for an hour at 200 C/400 F for an hour. When I prodded the potato at the hour mark it was still a bit hard, so I may give it an extra couple of minutes boiling next time.
Uncover, put the cheese on top and put it in the oven. I gave it thirty minutes and turned the oven up. The recipe suggested 15 minutes for browning but I was watching a half hour programme on TV. At least it cooked the potato properly. It also formed a nice golden crust and reduced the gravy nicely.
It was a bit salty for our low salt tastes, probably due to the bacon.
Next time I’m going to make a vegetarian version with carrots and parsnips, and possibly without cheese.
I haven’t made hotpot for twenty years, and am not sure why. Looks like we will be having more of it from now on.