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Bacon Potato Cheddar Tart

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From our Canadian famed Chef, Michael Smith

This has been a family favourite for about 12 years. I read about it once years ago, before he was the famous fellow he is, and have been making it since. It is definitely substantial and captures some key aspects of Canadian cuisine: cheddar, bacon, potatoes, and onion. You can’t get more down home than that. Michael has elevated this dish through his “easy-to-make” and “jaw-dropping” presentation. The addition of crème fraîche and with a generous sprinkling of sliced green onions takes the eating experience to yet another level.

It really isn’t as daunting to make as it looks. It took me about 20 minutes, but I did use my Thermomix to shred the cheese.

Baking this tart until the bacon is crisp and most of the fat is expelled does take some attention. The pan is lined with parchment. The tart is covered with parchment, then a lid a little smaller than the pan, or an oven proof plate that just fits inside of the perimeter is placed over the parchment covered tart. A heavy weight is placed on that to put pressure on the tart, and the entire apparatus is loaded into the oven. I used a big, heavy brick. I did not use the All Clad pan to get the beautifully crusty tart. An iron frying pan or any heavy rustic pan will work, but the lid must not fit the pan (as in the photo above).

Below is the tart inverted onto a plate sitting on our snowy bench, outside to cool a moment or two before slicing and serving.

 

 

Believe me, the onion and crème fraîche brighten the tart and add a lively little kick to the rich, unctuous bite of bacon cheddar bliss. The potato onion cheese mixture meld together and develop into a succulent silky bite encased in a smoky crunch: the low and slow six hour bake creates an entirely unexpected mouth feel. Bumping up the temperature for the last hour and draining the fat a few times establishes the desired crisp crust.

 This year I made this as a side to Deb’s wonderful Turducken for our December 23rd family dinner. I also made it for a Slow Food Edmonton meeting in November, and Oh, my! What a learning experience. I had not made it for a few years, and had not placed the parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. As well, I did not use a lid that fit into the pan with a weight. This is important. Lastly, I was not able to get a great crust with the All-Clad pan. Not having the lid weighted on the tart and forgetting the parchment paper lining the pan meant no crispy bacon crust. Quite a difference between this and the one below, eh?
 I took it to the meeting and served it anyway. I felt so bad as I was so excited to make the treat you see at the entry of this post, and this is what everyone graciously ate. I added garlic for fun, and it was not a good idea! So, I promised I would make it again and post the proper recipe. I now have to take it again to a meeting with the crispy crunchy crust! And, I will!
I have included the video of Michael Smith making his recipe, slightly differently, but with incredible tips that will work well for you, when combined with mine. I learned: thin potatoes do make a difference. Use a mandoline if you cannot slice them thinly on your own. Onions are an essential addition. He has many versions of his own recipe: onions, garlic, etc. Of course, each of us will do what we like, but onions are essential. I am just telling you now. He doesn’t put parchment on top of his tart, nor cover it. These are two more essential tips. Doing what he did will not work as it seemed to on his video. You will also need a weight. The tart will usually look better inverted, but his didn’t, so you do have the option to do what he did: invert, and then replate to the original bottom on the bottom. I also find that thick bacon works better, placing the bacon in quadrants helps to ensure all sections are covered and the cooking time in my recipe is essential. His original recipe was similar to mine. Two and a half hours will not create the desired crust or creamy centre. ‘Nuff said. Watch the video and have fun with the recipe!

 
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About Valerie Lugonja

Educator, Writer, Gardener and Traveler who believes in buying and eating locally, and most importantly cooking at home!

Join The Conversation!

  1. Morning Valerie!
    We have a ton of snow here in New Brunswick this morning, and it is still coming down heavy.
    I think it is making up for last year when we didn’t get a lot.

    This looks like a bacon pan haggerty I have made for years. Very British :~D

    Definitely will make it, only cut it down for two.

    Have a Joyful Day and a New Year filled with blessings :~D

    Charlie

    • Valerie Lugonja says:

      Good morning, Charlie!
      Bacon Pan Haggerty? I am googling it right now! Beautiful aftermath of gorgeous snow here!
      Happy Happy 2013 and thanks for the tip! Love love love it! The Bacon Pan Haggerty is similar in flavour combination, but not in presentation or in cooking time. Very interesting! :)
      Valerie

  2. OH my this looks delicious. I think I may substitute ham for the bacon-the bacon may be too rich for me. It must be a layering day today as I am going to make moussaka.

  3. That looks so yummy. I have never thought of making a pie crust out of bacon! I can see why this has been a family favourite for 12 years! xx

  4. My kids are bacon crazed and would go insane here!
    Wishing you a most wonderful 2013!

  5. Oh my! This is exquisite on all levels. Looks delicious and yes succulent!!!

  6. Oh, my, I won’t ask how many calories one of those wedges carries because it looks so good, I don’t care. Great presentation.

    Happy New Year to you and Vanja.

  7. Wow! If you’re going splurge for a holiday breakfast this is the way to do it! Amazing!

  8. Wow! This just looks amazing!

  9. Valerie,
    My husband is a meat and potatoes guy and loves, loves bacon. I made this and it was an instant hit with him. Thanks for the ideas.
    Sami

  10. Val, this looks so ridiculously good. I’m not even sure how to express the levels of drool forming at the corner of my mouth just looking at the pictures!

    • Valerie Lugonja says:

      Dear Phil
      This may be hard to believe, but when I left my messages on your site this morning, I did not see that you had stopped by last night. Talk about serendipity! :)
      Valerie

  11. Bacon makes everything better, and this was no exception! This was absolutely the best potato tart I have ever had and the bacon salty, meaty, rich with the soft potatoes, MAGIC!

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