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Potato pie – by Shaun Hill

11 September 2006

INGREDIENTS

(serves four)

300g waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
250g puff pastry
1 onion, finely chopped
100g bacon, cut in strips
2tbs chopped parsley
1tbs chopped chives
85ml creme fraiche, double cream or chicken stock (warmed gently until hot)

METHOD

This dish puts potatoes centre stage. There aren't many occasions that this is possible, but here the pie gets equal billing with whatever is served alongside. It is a good summer dish and ideal for vegetarians.Preheat oven to 200ºC. Blanch the potato slices in boiling salted water for five minutes. They should be almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain well and cool.

Roll out half the pastry to a 20cm circle. Place on a dampened baking sheet then roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid. Arrange a third of the potato slices on the pastry - leaving the edges free - and then sprinkle on half the onion, herbs and bacon. Repeat the process and finish with the final third of the potato. Dampen the edges of the pastry once more and cover the pie. Seal the edges well.

With the point of a sharp knife, cut two slashes on the top. Alternatively, cut a neat circle of pastry from the lid but do not remove.

Bake for 30 minutes then pour hot cream or stock into the slashes or, with the circle, lift it temporarily from the lid and pour through the hole. Return to the oven and cook 10 minutes more. Leave to stand for 5-10 minutes before serving with a winter salad of bitter leaves and a walnut or olive oil dressing.

Shaun Hill

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