Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Grape Pickers Skillet
One of my favorite cooking magazines is Cuisine at Home. Last year for the first time ever, I made an entire meal based on one article. The current edition is dog-eared and I've not even clipped a recipe from it yet. We made (and LOVED) the tea smoked ribs. When I saw this recipe I thought it'd be perfect to add to the menu for Samantha's bridesmaid's brunch. I've got to say I was thrilled when my guests focused on the ham quiche and rather ignored this. Better leftovers!
This was in an article on skillet roasting. Once I discovered roasting a few years ago, it rather became my go-to preparation method. I'm even considering roasting a steak. We'll have to see how that one works out for the girl who loves rare meat...
So, what did we think? This was VERY good. It was my favorite of the brunch dishes. Pieces need to be cut really small since it's quite filling. And, the recipe's not kidding that you need to drain the grease. If you're using thick cut bacon like I did, you'll even want to pre-cook it to get some of the grease out of the way. The recipe actually says that thick cut won't work. I'm here to tell you it works just fine if you pre-cook it. The original recipe called for shredded chicken. I used sausage because I didn't want to deal with half of a rotisserie chicken leftover and also didn't want to take the time to poach chicken breasts then shred them. The sausage was a perfect substitute.
You're probably wondering where the name comes from. It was evidently a favorite of the grape pickers in the Burgundy region of France.
Grape Pickers Skillet
10 oz bacon strips
2 T minced fresh thyme
2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced (or red skin potatoes)
3/4 c shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
1/2 lb pork sausage, browned, drained and crumbled
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 T minced garlic
Preheat the oven to 450.
Saute the red onion in about a tablespoon of olive oil. Or, if you're using thick cut bacon and want to be wicked, saute the red onion in some of the bacon fat.
Line an 8" cast iron skillet with bacon.
You'll want the pieces to not overlap in the middle then have about a third of each piece hanging over the edge of the skillet.
The best way to thinly slice the potatoes is a mandolin. Lay half of the potatoes on the bacon and sprinkle them with thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded Gruyere on the potatoes.
Top the cheese with the sausage then another 1/3 of the cheese.
Layer on the sauteed onions and garlic then the rest of the potatoes
Then add the balance of the cheese.
Wrap the bacon up and over and try not to layer it in the center.
Cook the skillet for 10 minutes on the stovetop on medium heat then cover it with aluminum foil and move it to the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 30 minutes. You want the potatoes to be fork tender and the bacon to be nicely browned. Let the skillet rest for 10 minutes. Drain excess fat before serving.
adapted from Cuisine at Home