A Simple One Pot Recipe – Leek, Potato and Bacon Hotpot:
Do you sometimes forget how much you like an old recipe? Leek, Potato and Bacon Hotpot must have been one of the first things I made as a student – pure comfort food, it really comes into it’s own in the winter months when having something cooking for supper in the oven is almost mandatory. But, it’s been at least couple of years since I made it and the revival of my Leek Potato and Bacon Hotpot is all down to a Jarlsberg cookery event.
A month or so ago I was invited to the Good Housekeeping Institute to meet Signe Johansen and some of the people from Jarlsberg Cheese all as part of the Jarlsberg #makeasandwish campaign.
We learnt that Jarlsberg is the product of a fusion of Swiss cheese making and Norwegian dairy produce that dates back as far as the 1820s, when some Swiss cheese makers visited Norway and realised that the terroir would give cheese a unique flavour. The cheese all but died out until 1956, when a group of students and scientists recreated the ancient recipe. The result, Jarlsberg, is a delicious cheese, ripened for a minimum of 12 months, which is versatile enough to work as well in an everyday sandwich as it does in a whole variety of dishes.
Signe Johansen helped us to create a new twist on macaroni cheese – she showed us how to make a lighter mac, using stock instead of milk and adding no flour. Of course the cheese used was Jarlsberg. Then we used the mix as a stuffing for tortillas, pimping the mixture up with everything from mushrooms and ham to a hot chilli sauce. Jarlsberg is a great cheese to use for cooking, it melts very easily and can be grated as a topping then browned off in the oven for a delicious golden crunchy topping.
Of course we took some cheese home and I decided to make one of those recipes that I’ve cooked since student days. It’s a very frugal way to use up a little left over bacon, ham, chicken or sausage and the end result is comfort food that I’m happy to eat over and over again. Sometimes I’ll use a leek, sometimes shallots or onions. I’ve also made the same dish substituting the potato for celeriac.
It’s a pot of gooey, rich, comfort. Something to eat on an evening when you don’t want to stress about dinner but you DO want good, home made food. Try eating it with a crunchy green salad or with a helping of ratatouille. Or enjoy it as it is, straight from the pan.
With many thanks to Jarlsberg for my samples of cheese and for a great evening cooking with Signe Johansen