This is time a year when the wheels come off, we lower our guards and crash head-on into the magical, not-oft visited, world of carbohydrates.
But like we always say, if you’re gonna do something,
then you clearly couldn’t talk anyone into doing it for you find a way to incorporate a pork product. What better way to richen up this classic, layered dish of sliced potatoes, shredded cheese, and everything else amazing under the sun? Pancetta.
This salt-cured pork belly is cut up into small pieces and crisped up in a bed of onions and garlic to make everything better. It definitely jazzes up an already amazing dish.
John had such a difficult time writing that last sentence… turns out its hard to type when you can’t stop doing “jazz hands”.
makes 6 servings
- 8 large white potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced and chopped (you can substitute prosciutto or cooked bacon)
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1 cup gouda, shredded
- 1/2 cup gruyere, shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded, divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- parmigiano-reggiano cheese and chives, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place gouda, gruyere and 1/2 cup of the cheddar into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add pancetta, onions and garlic and cook until fragrant and translucent. About 5 or 6 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring for about an additional minute.
Slowly stir in milk and half and half. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture bubbles and thickens. About 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over cheeses. Mix well.
Pour about 1/2 cup of cheese sauce in bottom of greased 13×9 baking dish. Place potatoes in a single layer over that and top with 1 cup cheese sauce. Repeat layers till you run out of potatoes or sauce ending with sauce on top. Sprinkle remaining cheddar and parmesan on top of everything and place in oven. Bake uncovered for about an hour, or until bubbling and turning golden on the sides. If you like, you can also broil the dish for a minute or so to get extra “crust” on top.