Bacon Potato Cheddar Tart

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.

Bacon Potato Cheddar Tart

Serving: Makes 8 servings


  • 2 pounds room temperature bacon, thickly sliced (I used 3 pounds of double smoked local bacon)
  • lots of freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups shredded aged cheddar (I didn’t use this much; I used one pound, shredded)
  • 5 or 6 large baking potatoes, thinly sliced and unpeeled (I used 8 to 9, but there was waste due to ends)
  • salt to taste, per layer (I used a sprinkle as there is a lot in the cheese and in the bacon; however, potatoes need a lot of salt, so I did use some)
  • 1 onion, minced (I sliced mine thinly, and used a whole large onion)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C)
  2. Line your baking frying pan with parchment paper
  3. Carefully arrange the bacon in a radial pattern from the centre of the bottom of a 10- or 12-inch (25 or 30 cm) round non-stick baking pan to the lower edge of the rim and continuing up and over the sides of it; start four slices in each quadrant letting some ends hang over and some not reaching the top of the side of the pan
  4. The slices must overlap around the sides of the pan; to reduce the thickness of the bacon in the centre, stagger every other piece, starting it 2 inches (5 cm) from the centre and extending it further than the adjacent slices: this will also create a staggered top (My first four slices didn’t even reach the top of the edge of the pan, so I needed to introduce 4 more slices when I was folding the bacon over the potatoes at the end)
  5. With the palm of your hand, flatten the centre area, leaving no gaps in the bacon; the bottom will become the top of the pie, so how this looks is important
  6. Season the bacon with lots of pepper and then start with a layer of thin, overlapping potato slices once the entire bottom and sides of the pan is covered with bacon
  7. Slice the potatoes as thinly and uniformly as you can, about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and arrange a circular pattern of overlapping slices around the inside bottom edge of the pan; continue arranging overlapping layers of the potatoes until the bottom is evenly covered
  8. Season each layer of potatoes with salt and pepper
  9. Sprinkle some of the onion slices onto the potatoes (The photos above demonstrate how I did this); continue with a layer of the shredded cheese
  10. Cover with another layer of the potato, pressing down firmly before continuing with alternate layers of potato, onion and cheese
  11. Fold the overhanging bacon neatly up and over the top of the potatoes, adding additional slices inside, first, as needed, to ensure the entire surface is completely covered with bacon slices similar to the bottom
  12. Trim a small piece of parchment paper and place it in between an ovenproof lid or plate and the bacon; this will prevent the bacon ends from pulling back and shrinking during cooking (I actually placed a brick on top of the lid to ensure there was enough pressure on the bacon; I have had it shrink before)
  13. Place the pan on a covered baking sheet to avoid spillage in the oven and bake for at least 4 to 5 hours; you’ll know it’s done when a small, thin bladed knife inserts easily
  14. Pour off as much of the fat around the edges as possible; increase the heat to 450°F for the last hour, draining fat as necessary; watch carefully to ensure the crust doesn’t get too dark
  15. Let the tart stand for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cutting surface or serving plate
  16. Slice into wedges and serve immediately with a dollop of thick crème fraîche and a smattering of thinly sliced green onions
  17. Leftovers are excellent refrigerated and reheated it in a microwave
 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!



  1. Charlie says

    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


    • 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!

  2. Esme says

    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. says

    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.

  4. Sami says

    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.

  5. says

    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!

  6. Ragan says

    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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