This is so yummy! If you eat fish but not meat then leave out the bacon and add a little salt.
This serves about 5-6 people and is great for making in advance. You can even make it and freeze it for an easy ready meal. If you're a family of 2-3 then make this amount but use two smaller dishes and freeze one. It's also very nice cold the next day with a salad.
5 medium potatoes or 4 really big ones
Pack of bacon
Pack of smoked mackerel
300ml single cream
about 700ml milk, depends on the dish you use though
A bit of cheese for the top
Slice the onion into half moons and start to soften in a little oil. Chop the bacon into pieces and add to the onions. Once the onions and bacon are nicely soft and starting to colour, chop or break up the mackerel and add it to the pan and mix it all up to warm through. Season with black pepper.
Meanwhile, while the onions and bacon are cooking peel the potatoes. If you have a food processor, then great, slice them in that bad boy and enjoy the benefits of the electrical age. If not then I'm afraid you have to slice thinly with a knife (hopefully you have stainless steel and not flint???).
In a decent sized oven dish, grease the bottom with a little oil or piece of butter wrapper (because like me you keep a stash of old butter wrappers in your fridge door for moments like this). Put a layer of potatoes then sprinkle over a layer of the onion-bacon-mackerel mix. Then a layer of potatoes and so on until the dish is full, finish on a layer of potatoes.
In a jug mix 300ml of cream with about 500ml of milk. Pour over the potatoes. That'll leave you about 200ml milk extra from the above ingredients list – depending on the shape and depth of your dish and the size of your spuds add some more milk if needed. You basically want to be able to just see it coming up the sides of the dish but not right up to the top of the potatoes. (Don't be disheartened if the first time you make it it's too dry or too runny, it'll still taste great and just make a mental note for next time about if you need more or less milk).
Grate a little cheese on top, cover with tin foil and stick it in a medium-hot oven, about 180 deg.
After 45 mins remove the foil and leave in for another 30mins – 45mins, to check if it's ready stick a knife in the middle and there shouldn't be any “resistance” from the spuds. Leave to settle and solidify for a few mins before serving.
We tend to serve with pan fried cabbage... possible my favourite veg at the moment. Broccoli or anything green is good with it really.
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