Dutch-oven potatoes are one of Idaho's iconic dishes. According to a potato farmer I met there, Brett, everyone in Idaho knows exactly what it is and everyone makes it. The dish is so ubiquitous that it’s hard to imagine a big family gathering or party without it. It also seems to be very popular as a campout dish, since typically it’s made in a cast-iron pot nestled into burning coals. —Katie Workman
large Idaho potatoes, scrubbed (3 to 3 1/2 pounds)
olive, vegetable, or canola oil
thinly sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
cleaned and roughly chopped mushrooms, any type
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
dry white wine
less-sodium chicken broth
light or heavy cream
chopped flat-leaf parsley
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lie a plate with paper towels. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and sauté until just crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to the paper towel-lined plate and pour off the excess fat.
Meanwhile, slice the potatoes about 1/4-inch thick.
Return the skillet to medium heat. Add the oil and then add the onions and leeks and sauté until very lightly browned and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and turn the heat up to medium-high. Sauté for about 8 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and golden brown and any liquid that was released has evaporated. Add the garlic and stir for one minute until the garlic becomes fragrant. Pour in the white wine and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to mostly evaporate, then add the broth, cream and parsley and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cooked bacon.
Place 1/3 of the potatoes in a Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot with a lid. Spoon over about 1/3 of the mushroom leek mixture from the skillet. Layer another 1/3 of the potatoes on top, then spoon over another 1/3 of the mushrooms and leeks. Layer over the rest of the potatoes, sprinkle over the rest of the mushrooms and leeks, then pour over the remaining cream mixture.
Cover the pot and bake for about 1 hour, gently stirring the vegetables at 20 minutes and 40 minutes, then letting them cook an additional 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender. When the potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the oven, sprinkle over the cheese, and replace the lid. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and serve. Scoop down to get the potatoes at the bottom, and make sure there's some cheese with each serving.