Smashed and Stuffed Potatoes make for a great appetizer or side dish. Golden potatoes are cooked, smashed, and then topped with cheese and bacon.
A meal can be elevated to a whole new level with a complex and rich side dish such as a creamy potato bake.
Although there is a lot slicing involved this is effectively a very simple dish with only four key ingredients, potato, onion, cheese and cream, then teamed up with some flavorings.
I have included my more complicated top, but it can be skipped or simplified as circumstance prevail.
6 waxy style potatoes
1 brown onion
16oz (500g) medium cheddar cheese, white cheddar if available
1 small container cream, (16oz / 500ml)
garlic powder, to taste
salt, to taste
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika to taste
10 inch Dutch oven or equivalent sized baking dish
Slowly and carefully thinly slice the potatoes and onions. The thinner you can get each level the better it tends to work out.
Grate (shred) the cheddar cheese.
Build the potato bake with as many layers as the preparation allow.
Base Layer – sliced onion (helps to potato to not stick)
First layer – potato
Second layer – onion
Third layer – grated cheese
Fourth layer – very gently sprinkle with garlic powder and salt (remember this will happen multiple times throughout the dish).
Repeat the four layers until all ingredients are used.
Firmly push down on the top of the dish to compress the layers. Expect to hear the onion and potato cracking and compressing. The goal is to reduce the air pockets, otherwise they will be filled with cream which will weaken the overall dish. Pour in the whole container of cream.
Sprinkle half of the topping cheese.
sprinkle with all the breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs help absorb any moisture/grease that comes from the cheese.
Top with the remaining cheese.
Gently sprinkle with the parsley, garlic powder and smoked paprika.
If camping and have limited ingredients, this can be substituted with your favorite rub.
Bake for 90 minutes, or until cooked at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Sometimes I find the potatoes may be very stubborn and can take longer until they are soft. (Don’t be tempted to up the heat otherwise the outside with brown (possible even burn) while the potatoes inside are hard.
If the top starts to brown too much, depending how you are cooking, remove coals from the top of the Dutch oven. If baking in a baking dish top with foil or a lid.