Thursday, October 10, 2013

Buttermilk-Parsley Mash with Bacon



What goes with some braised beef better than mashed potatoes? How about mashed potatoes with bacon, parsley and onions stirred in and baked like a casserole? I wasn't sure about that either but it sounded like something worth trying.

The original recipe said to use 2.5 lbs of potatoes but the bag I bought only had 2 pounds in it. I might've used a half-pound of bacon. And I'm not sure how much parsley I used but it was whatever a bunch yields.

Buttermilk-Parsley Mash with Bacon
slightly adapted from Cooking Club
click to print

2 - 2 1/2 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
4 oz. bacon, diced
2 c lightly packed very coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c hot water
1 c chopped green onions
3/4 c buttermilk
1/4 c unsalted butter
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 375°F. Butter shallow 2- to 3-quart glass or ceramic baking dish.

Place potatoes in large pot with enough cold water to cover; add 1 tablespoon of the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Reserve pot.


Meanwhile, heat medium skillet over medium heat until hot. Add bacon; cook until nearly crisp, stirring frequently. Pour off half of the drippings.

I started with a cold skillet, threw the bacon in, and cooked it for 10 minutes.

Add parsley and hot water; cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates and parsley is tender. Add green onions; cook 30 seconds.


Place buttermilk, butter, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in same pot used to cook potatoes; bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Buttermilk will look curdled).


Add potatoes; mash with potato masher.


Stir in parsley mixture.


Spread potatoes in baking dish, leaving top uneven so potato peaks brown. (Potatoes can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Increase baking time 10 to 15 minutes.) Bake 30 minutes or until browned on edges and peaks.



The dish tasted good and went well with the beef. But I am not totally convinced that baking the potatoes after mashing them is a necessity. After all, all the ingredients were already cooked and hot when mixed together. I might short-cut this next time.

Being shy a half-pound on the potatoes didn't seem to make a big difference in the final outcome. More bacon wouldn't hurt, but when would it ever? As for the water added to the bacon with the parsley, a little less would've resulted in fresher looking cooked parsley. It took my water more than 5 minutes to evaporate and the parsley looked a little sickly by the time the water was off. One last thing...if I do this and bake the potatoes again, I'll do it in an 11x7" dish instead of an 8x8" square. It'll make portioning the servings a little simpler (if that is important).

Cost:
  • Yukon gold potatoes: $3.99
  • bacon: $1.88
  • fresh parsley: $1.88
  • green onions: $0.89
  • buttermilk: $0.20
  • unsalted butter: $0.20
Total: $9.04 or about $1.13 for each of eight little servings.

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