Food Country

Food Country is a weekly web series featuring Chef Michael Smith and the flavours, people and stories of Prince Edward Island.

One week Food Country follows Michael as he explores the island, searching for fresh ingredients. The next week Food Country visits Michael’s home kitchen as he cooks and creates simple healthy food.

New episodes every Tuesday.

Episode 4 > Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart

Prince Edward Island Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart

This special occasion treat features a classic trio of flavours: potatoes, bacon and cheddar. It’s my favourite way to show off the earthy potatoes that PEI is so famous is for. It’s not hard to make but it does take some time to assemble and will need several hours in the oven. The spectacular results are more than worth the wait!

Serves eight

Two pounds or so of room temperature bacon

One minced onion

Four minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon of minced fresh thyme

Four cups of grated medium aged cheddar

Five or six large unpeeled baking potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Parchment paper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a ten-inch, non-stick sauté pan with a small round of parchment paper. Carefully arrange the bacon in a radial pattern from the center of the bottom of the pan to the lower edge of the rim and continuing up and over it. Let the ends hang over. The slices should overlap slightly around the sides of the pan. To reduce the thickness of the bacon in the center stagger every other piece starting it two inches from the center and extending it further than the adjacent slices. With the palm of your hand, flatten the center area, leaving no gaps in the bacon. Season the bacon with pepper then sprinkle on several tablespoons of the grated cheddar.

Slice the potatoes as thinly and uniformly as you can, about a quarter inch thick. Arrange a circular pattern of overlapping slices around the inside bottom edge of the pan. Continue arranging overlapping layers of the potatoes until the bottom is evenly covered. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Mix together the onions and garlic and sprinkle some of the mixture onto the potatoes. Continue with a layer of the grated cheese. Cover with another layer of the potato pressing it down firmly before continuing with alternate layers of the potatoes, onion mixture and cheese until the pan is full. Continue with several more layers insetting each a bit from the edge of the pan until the top is an inch or so higher than the pan’s rim. Fold the overhanging bacon neatly up and over the top of the potatoes. Trim a small piece of parchment paper and place it in between an ovenproof lid and the bacon. This lids weight will prevent the bacons ends from pulling back and shrinking during cooking.

Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for at least two and a half to three hours. You’ll know it’s done when a small thin bladed knife inserts easily. Pour off as much of the fat around the edges as possible. Let the tart stand for fifteen minutes then carefully cover with a plate and flip over. Slide onto a cutting surface. Slice into wedges and serve immediately. You may refrigerate any leftovers and reheat them later it in a microwave.

Feel free to try

Try mixing a few tablespoons of your favourite herb into the onion mixture. Thyme, rosemary and tarragon all work well.

Hints

Medium aged cheddar works best because it wont ‘break’ like an older cheese and release lots of oil. It also has more flavour than a younger cheddar. Kitchen specialty stores carry a French slicing tool known as a mandolin. It’s a fancy chef tool but easily slices the potatoes into even rounds. Its not absolutely necessary though, a sharp knife works well too!

Comments

  1. Annie said: On Oct 5, 2013

    Saw this recipe or one very similar during one of the very first “Inn Chef” shows, Chef Michael Smith has had me and my husband hooked ever since!

  2. j said: On Oct 5, 2013

    Will try this, not a good cook but love to try.

  3. Dwayne said: On Jul 25, 2013

    I always love watching your cooking shows.The food you make is mouthwatering!

  4. Joan said: On Sep 19, 2011

    Made this yesterday with my daughter. Fun to make together and a yummy result! Served it with a light maple cream sauce!

  5. Saila said: On May 12, 2011

    What a way to start this glorious morning!!! Went looking for the no – knead bread recipe and found this site! LUV LUV LUV IT! The potato tart I’ve seen you do on TV but now this seemed more pleasurable without the ads! You are the man-whats coming up on TV anything SOON! Also enjoyed the chef abroad series but I missed the Finland one-thats where I’m from! Thanks again-keep it coming…SI

  6. Tim said: On Apr 6, 2011

    Hi Michael,

    I have tried nearly every recipe in all your books, and this is hands down my favourite. It has become a dinner party staple, and we wouldn’t dream of having a stampede party without it!

    Thanks for helping me enjoy cooking again,
    Tim
    Calgary, Alberta

  7. Charlene said: On Mar 3, 2011

    I’m a real Island Girl love to cook and show what the Island has to offer. Being in the military I would aquire food items from the Island (spices , fish, veggies ect ) and serve them to company to they came to my house when I was living “Away”. What I could do with this ADL Cheese, Ching potatoes and bacon from the Ch’town Market and herbs from my garden now that I’m back again, Thanks for sharing this piece of AWESOMENESS!

  8. Karin said: On Feb 27, 2011

    Dear Chef Michael,

    When I saw the recipe for Prince Edward Island Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart, I knew I had to share it with my bacon-crazy teens. Sure enough, after watching the video, and laughing about your shared reverence for 2 lbs of bacon in one place, they got sufficiently inspired to make it for our Sunday dinner. It was a BIG hit! And it got them in the kitchen! Thank you for that, and for your over-all friendly, relaxed and joyful approach to food.

  9. Julie said: On Feb 2, 2011

    Hi Michael,

    I have watched you for years now and enjoyed many recipes. We just tried this recipe tonight and it has been given two thumbs up from everyone in the house! Great site and hope you keep em coming!

    P.S. My 4yr old daughter is one of your biggest fans and watches daily with me.

    Julie

  10. Ethelyn said: On Jan 31, 2011

    This is such a great way to get even more of your excellent talent. thank you Michael! I have enjoyed watching you over the years and using your books to create yummy meals for my family. Now I have an even better venue with you at my finger tips to help me to perfect my meals!
    Thanks again MIchael…
    Lyn

  11. Ethelyn said: On Jan 30, 2011

    Michael I have watched you for many years and enjoy using the recipes from your books. I have been a big fan for a long time and am so glad to have another way to help me create delicious meals for my family! Thank you…
    Lyn

  12. Leslie said: On Jan 30, 2011

    Thanks for the inspiration Michael!!
    Watching your show has created the need for a bigger pantry…

    My sister and I are cooking up a big 70th Birthday Brunch for our father in February and this Bacon Tart Recipe is definitely going to be a hit!! His favorite is Eggs Bennidict. Do you have any suggestions on how to pull it off for 12 people?

    Leslie

  13. Brad said: On Jan 30, 2011

    Great recipe, Michael. My wife and I are vegetarian, but I think we may make this one for our parents. We think you are awesome. Love the new website – keep it up! Come to Kingston!!

  14. Another awesome temptation… will have to try this one for sure. Any chance the webseries can add on the nutritional data per serving(ie: calories, carbs, fats & protein)… for us watching counts?
    PEI is lucky to have Chef Smith celebrating the Island, its food, its way of life and its people.
    Thank you.

  15. Evelyn said: On Jan 29, 2011

    Hi Michael: This looks soooo good. I am going to try it.
    So glad you have this site. I love it.
    Thanks
    Evelyn

  16. sherna said: On Jan 28, 2011

    i really like micheal smith every time i watch his new episode…he so good.

  17. Vic said: On Jan 27, 2011

    Great show, love the opening and closing shots. Just getting caught up this morning with the storm day.
    .
    We will be making the Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart, however we will be using Marty’s bacon….Store bought bacon shame on you.

  18. Thomas said: On Jan 25, 2011

    you’re right, that is what perfection looks like! keep em’ coming!

  19. Julie said: On Jan 25, 2011

    Love the video and recipe, Michael! You have done such a great job inspiring home cooks, healthy eating, and local ingredients. Our family vacationed to PEI last summer because you made it sound so wonderful – and it was!!!!!! Keep up the great work! :-)

  20. dustin said: On Jan 25, 2011

    HI Mike nice video, I do not eat bacon, but still enjoyed watching it. I like the videos, it is like a mini “chef at home” in 10 minutes or less.

    Oh P.S. I found the mini hot air balloon on bothwell beach…..:)

    Dustin

  21. I have made this before from the cookbook! We all loved it!
    Really enjoying the videos and look forward to each new one!
    Makes me want to visit PEI!

    Thanks Michael!

  22. Betty said: On Jan 25, 2011

    Michael

    I watch your show and enjoy it very much. I was wondering if you have a receipe for Chicken cordon blue where you just make a pocket in the chicken breast and stuff it. Do you deep fry it a bit or do you just bake it and if so at what temp.

    Thank you
    Betty Chestnut

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