This easy recipe from French chef Paul Bocuse is the perfect sidekick for roast meat or poultry
Meat and potatoes: A classic combo (and all in one dish, in this case).
These Bacon-Braised Potatoes make a great side for any hunk of roast meat or poultry. Though with these on the table, you may ignore the main event and instead zero in on the spuds. They’re that good.
Recipe: Bacon-Braised Potatoes
We discovered this recipe years ago in Paul Bocuse in Your Kitchen. Bocuse calls the dish Potatoes Barboton (barboton de pommes de terre). A barboton is kind of a ragout (that is, a dish braised in minimal liquid). We call it Bacon-Braised Potatoes because we think that’s a bit more informative for English speakers.
This dish makes a wonderful side for roast meat or poultry. It’s particularly good with lamb. We haven’t paired it with corned beef, but it would probably work well for your St. Patrick’s Day feast. And it definitely would play nicely with any Easter roast.
Prep time for this dish is perhaps 20 minutes. Cooking time adds another 30 minutes. You can make this dish several hours ahead of time, if you wish, then reheat it right before serving.
This recipe makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings. Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- ~6 ounces bacon, cut into ½-inch slices
- 1 small onion, cut into thin slices or dice of about ½ inch (~¾ cup of onion)
- 1 garlic clove, cut into thin slices or minced
- ~1½ pounds potatoes (peeled or not; cut into pieces about the size of golf balls)
- ~1 cup beef or chicken stock, or water
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (see Notes)
- salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste (at least half a dozen grinds for us)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter to finish the dish (very optional)
- ~2 tablespoons minced parsley
- Add the bacon slices to a small Dutch oven or a shallow cooking pot (use something just large enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer). Place the cooking pot over medium stovetop heat. Sauté until the bacon begins to brown and render its fat (about 5 minutes).
- Push the bacon to the side of the pan, add the onion, then sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the potatoes, plus enough stock to come about halfway up the sides of the potatoes. Add the thyme, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Braise until the potatoes are tender (this will probably take 25 to 30 minutes, but start checking after 20 minutes). Shake the cooking pot (or use a spoon to stir it) from time to time to baste the potatoes while they’re braising.
- When ready to serve, taste the dish and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Uncover the cooking pot and boil off most of the remaining liquid (there won’t be much). Add the butter if you want to enrich the potatoes (then let them sit for about a minute, until the butter melts). Add the parsley, then shake the pan to coat the potatoes with it.
- Serve and enjoy.
- You can easily halve (or double) this recipe. And feel free to alter ingredient quantities to suit your own taste.
- Slab bacon probably works best in this dish (cut it into pieces about 1 inch long by ¼ inch thick). But slab bacon is hard to find these days, so we generally use thick-cut bacon, which also works well.
- Or substitute meaty salt pork for bacon, if you prefer. Cut it into pieces about ¼ inch thick.
- What kind of potatoes to use? We favor small new potatoes (which we leave whole). We peeled them for this post, but often do not.
- You can actually use any type of potato in this dish (though a “boiling” type works better than a baking potato). If you’re using larger potatoes, cut them into chunks about the size of golf balls.
- We like to use thyme in this dish, but most other herbs that sound good to you will probably work. Fresh rosemary would be terrific. Many cooks like to add a bay leaf to the pot to flavor the potatoes.
- Beef or chicken stock adds nice flavor to this dish. But water works perfectly well, too.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If you’re using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
- Having said that (and although bacon adds a lot of salt to the dish): Potatoes seem to absorb salt, and often require more than we expect.
“Pommes de terrific,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “I could make a meal out of these.”
“These potatoes are spud-tacular,” I said. “Not sure why I even bothered with the roast meat accompaniment.”
“Their flavor is the real deal,” said Mrs K R. “No imi-taters.”
And they’re shakin’ with bacon. No small potatoes here.
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