Boulangères Potatoes

french baked potato recipe

Serves 6

“Traditionally, Boulangères potatoes were cooked slowly in the baker’s oven (the boulangèrie) after the day’s bread was baked. The potatoes were placed under a meat rack lined with the villagers’ evening roasts, poised to collect the tasty drippings from above. This is a top of stove interpretation that captures the meaty flavor of the original.” – Tom Colicchio

2 1/2 pounds small fingerling potatoes (about 30), peeled

About 1 quart veal stock

1 bunch thyme, plus 2 tablespoons picked leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound smoked bacon

2 yellow onions, peeled

Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add enough veal stock to cover. Add the bunch of thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bring the stock to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes begin to soften, 15 minutes. Cool the potatoes in the stock uncovered.

Cut the bacon into thin 1-inch lengths (lardons). Cut the onion into pieces about the same size as the bacon. Render the bacon in a very large skillet over medium-low heat. When the bacon begins to crisp, about 15 minutes, add the onions, salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and dry, about 25 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the potatoes out of the stock and into the skillet (if the pan is too crowded divide the onion mixture and potatoes between 2 skillets). Add the thyme leaves and a generous amount of pepper and heat over medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the reserved veal stock. Turn the potatoes in the simmering stock, glazing them as the stock reduces. Repeat several times until the potatoes are evenly coated (expect to use 1 to 2 cups of veal stock in all). Adjust the seasoning if necessary before serving.

*Recipe photo by Bill Bettencourt 

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