I love leeks, potatoes and bacon in soup and decided to make a little potato casserole with the same ingredients. The leek confit is adapted from the Molly Wizenburg version with the substitution of rendered bacon fat for the butter. —inpatskitchen
Test Kitchen Notes
These bacon-studded mashed potatoes are absolutely delicious. Served as a side for Thanksgiving or a standard weeknight dinner, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. I didn't have bacon fat sitting in my fridge, so cooked up 6 slices to yield the total of 4 tablespoons required in the recipe. Since there are an extra 3 slices, might as well crumble them on the top to make it extra crunchy and bacon-y!! —Victoria Ross
For the leek confit
leeks, white and pale green parts only
salt, plus more for seasoning mash
For the casserole
strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Chicken broth, enough to cover potatoes in a medium saucepan
light cream (plus more if necessary)
chicken broth, reserved from boiling potatoes
Wash and remove all dirt from leeks. Quarter them lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into quarter-inch pieces.
In a medium sauce pan with a lid, melt the bacon fat, then add leeks, water, and salt and cook covered on medium low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring frequently. When soft, remove the lid and cook a few more minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
For the casserole
Boil the potatoes in the chicken broth until fork tender. Drain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the broth.
Mash the potatoes (I put them through a ricer).
Warm the cream, broth, bacon fat, butter and white pepper and mix into the potatoes. Add more cream if mixture seems dry.
Stir in 3 tablespoons of the leek confit and salt to taste, and spread the mixture into a buttered shallow 9 x 11-inch baking dish.
Top with the remaining leek confit and bake for about 40 minutes in a 325F pre-heated oven, uncovered. (Alternatively you can prepare the casserole ahead of time and bake later.)
Once out of the oven, sprinkle with the crumbled bacon and serve.
I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I learned...to this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining.
My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!