Thursday, 26 November 2009

Cheesy Potato Bake

We had some potatoes laying around at home and D decided that he would like to have a potato bake for dinner. We don't have potatoes very often, I am more a rice and pasta person although I do love Japanese potato salad. I haven't had a potato bake since I lived with my mum, which was many years ago and I have never made one myself, so I went off to find a recipe.

Looking for a good potato bake recipe is similar to looking to for a pasta carbonara recipe. There are many many variations and there are many different combinations of ingredients that can be used to get the same kind of effect. In the case of potato bake, some use cream, some go for the more traditional roux, for example. I wanted to go for a roux to make my cheese sauce and I ended up choosing this recipe for Cheesy Potato Bake from

We halved the recipe and added a little bit of extra flavour by frying up some chopped onion and bacon. This was a really good idea from D, as it gave the potato bake some depth and complexity to its creamy cheesiness.

We had this in the oven by 6:45pm, but unfortunately our oven is terrible and our bake took much much longer than the stated 1 hour, even for a halved recipe. We didn't eat until nearly 9:30. We had planned to cook other things so we could have the potato bake as a side dish but we were so tired and annoyed by the time the bake was finally cooked that we just had potato bake for dinner. Stupid oven. Luckily, it tasted fantastic.

Cheesy Potato Bake
adapted from

1/2 onion, chopped
1 rasher bacon, chopped
30g butter
1/8 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated tasty cheese
500g potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 6cm deep, 24cm square baking dish.

In a small frypan, cook the onion until soft and add the bacon. Cook until the mix colours.

Melt butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove from heat. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until well combined. Return to heat. Cook, stirring, until sauce comes to the boil.

Add 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Stir to combine.

Arrange one-third of potatoes, overlapping slightly, over base of baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and onion/bacon mix. Spoon one-third of the cheese sauce over potatoes. Repeat twice. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender and top is golden. If top begins to brown too much, cover with foil.

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