Cheesy Potato Bacon Brown Betty
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 lb Idaho russet potatoes peeled & cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup minced chives
- 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 slices good quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
- 4 tablespoon melted butter
Preparation time 60mins
Cooking time 60mins
Place bacon slices in a large, unheated heavy-bottomed or cast iron skillet. Turn heat to medium and cook bacon, turning often until crispy. About 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Crumble and set aside.
Place oven rack in center position. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt into a large saucepan. Add just enough water to cover by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pan and cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes. Strain potatoes and then return half of them to the hot, dry pan. Turn heat to low and cook uncovered, shaking the pan often to evaporate as much water from hot potatoes as you can, about 4 minutes. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Let potatoes cool somewhat then push through a ricer into a large bowl. You may alternatively mash by hand with a masher or fork. Add cream cheese, melted butter and sour cream. Mix until smooth. Add chives, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, half the crumbled bacon, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir until well-combined.
Use a large chefs knife to cut bread slices into 1/2-inch cubes, then chop into rough breadcrumbs of varying sizes. Move to a large bowl. Pour in melted butter, tossing to coat crumbs. Add dried herbs and mix well.
Transfer potato mixture to a shallow 2 1/2 to 3 quart casserole or 9 by 13 baking dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and herbed breadcrumbs.
Move to center rack of heated oven and bake, rotating halfway through, until top is golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, garnish with remaining bacon. Serve hot.
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