Pommes de Terre Boulangères, translated from French is the ‘bakers potato’ or the ‘bakeries potato’. When the bread was finished baking for the day and the ovens began the long slow cooldown process, the bakers would put their potatoes in the ovens to cook for dinner. No sense wasting a hot oven! The long cooking time gave the potatoes plenty of time to soak up the intense flavors of beef stock, onions, and herbs. They are similar to a gratin only without all the cream, just onions, stock, and potatoes. Very good, polite side item, not too showy and not trying to take center stage.
Then, I was watching Chef Adrian Richardson’s cooking show, ‘The Secret Meat Business’ and he made this dish with loads of bacon in it. Well, anytime I can work in bacon into a potato dish I’m all for it.
As I began researching Pommes de Terre Boulangères, it became evident that using bacon was not a traditional way of making this dish. But at this point I was Hell bent that this was my new way of making these potatoes. Then in a Google image search, I discovered a really great French Food Blog by Chef Stéphane Décotterd. His traditional recipe and presentation were so beautiful, unique and elegant, that I knew I wanted to try to duplicate his presentation. I highly recommend his Food Blog, it’s in French, but Google translate does a pretty good job of converting it to English. This recipe is my adaptation of Chef Stéphane Décotterd’s, go check out his blog!
This Pommes de Terre Boulangères pairs perfectly with my beautiful and delicious Glazed Carrots and the equally beautiful and delicious Buttermilk Roast Chicken for an elegant dinner. If this doesn’t impress, nothing will!
This is the Pommes de Terre Boulangères recipe:
- ½ Pound Bacon
- 2 Medium Onions, thinly sliced
- 1 Clove Garlic, crushed, finely diced
- 2 Pounds Potatoes, Yukon Gold
- Fresh Thyme
- 4 Bay Leaves
- 1 Quart Unsalted Beef stock
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Pepper
-Preheat oven to 325F
-Slice bacon into ¼ inch pieces, in a hot skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, remove the bacon and discard all but 3 tablespoons of fat.
-Sauté onions and garlic in bacon grease until soft, add salt and pepper
-Peel and slice potatoes, cut a flat part on the bottom of the potato so they stand up nicely, keep the potato slices together to keep the original shape of the potato,
-Place the potatoes in the casserole dish as you peel them, it’s a bit of a puzzle to make sure the pieces fit and you don’t want to peel more than necessary
-Combine the onions and bacon and place in the bottom of a 10 x 8-inch casserole dish
-Arrange potatoes on top of the onions
-Pour the beef stock on top of the potatoes, up to the ¼ inch of the edge of the casserole dish
-Tuck the bay leaves and the thyme in and around the potatoes.
-Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour 45 minutes
-Remove the aluminum foil and raise the oven to 400F
-Baste the potatoes every 10 minutes until they have a nice color, approximately 45-60 minutes
-Remove the cooked thyme and replace with a fresh garnish for presentation.