Sunday, January 20, 2013

Supper Time is Fancy Time: Potato Galette

One tubular tuber... and
some buddies
"I'm a 'meat and potatoes' kind of guy."
This statement has always kind of pissed me off. It's supposed to infer that the person making the statement is happy being pretty plain and normal. Did anyone ever stop to think about how the meat and potatoes feel at being dragged into this statement of mediocrity and suck? Everyone knows that meat can be fancy pants... dry aging... special breeds... beef wellington... au poivre, etc., etc. But I've got to stand up today in defense of the potato side of meat and potatoes. Does anyone ever recognize how wonderful and versatile potatoes can be. Sure, they're the heart of hash browns and french fries, but they have and can be so much more. Think baked/stuffed potatoes, latkes, croquettes, German knodels, gnocchi and even Joel Robuchon's famous pommes purée. The possibilities are endless... and so tonight, we're going to go ahead and fancy up this joint with a little potato galette.
Sprinkling bacon on
layers of potato and onion
The recipe we used was easy breezy, so long as you took your time and didn't tear off the flesh of your palms with a nifty torture device known as a mandoline. ::rimshot:: No, seriously, safety first. 
After removing springform
pan ring
We did do two things a touch different from the recipe. First, as prescribed, since there was no duck fat to be found, we substituted bacon fat for duck fat. Second, after giving everything a good toss in liquid joy (code name: fat), we also went ahead and chopped up the bacon that gave forth said fat, and used it to sprinkle in between layers of potato and sliced onion. After stacking everything carefully and removing the springform pan ring, into the oven the galette went for 45 minutes. A quick basting of the top and sides with butter, another five minutes in the oven, and the top came out crispy and glistening. Not going to lie, it's a pretty picture. 
Crispy top, layers of
buttery potato
But nothing can compare to the unctuous, melt away satisfaction that you get from every bite of this elegant, buttery potato cake, complete with crispy top, and divinely crunchy bottom. The center is steamy hot, and the sweet, tangy onions have sweated themselves into translucent glory. Salty hits of bacon bits shine throughout, and the entire galette is rounded out by a subtle scent of caraway, like a fine rye bread. There are layers of texture and flavor, captured through each literal layer of vegetable, emerging with each fork full of something born out of the humble yukon gold potato. 
How you like them pommes? ::rimshot::

I'm a potato. And I'm anything
but ordinary.

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/8"-thick slices with a mandoline 
1 small sweet onion (such as Maui), very thinly sliced

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