Looks Like Meat’s Back on the Menu, Boys!

Sorry, I think I’m channeling one of the Lord of the Rings movies there, you know the scene where the orcs decide to tear one of their own apart for an impromptu dinner.

Anyway…this was the first recipe I invented long ago in college when I was contemplating writing a Middle-earth-inspired cookbook, which has now become the Halflings and Monsters cookbook.  I love many fantasy books and movies; since so many of these stories are sort of medieval in tone and involve visits to taverns after battles, comfort food often factors into the plot.  If you are familiar with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, you’ll recognize many of my recipe influences here (especially this one!).  If you are not into Middle-earth, it won’t matter, because everything is delicious.

The last time I made this, Bob said, “This is the kind of food that makes me sad when I’m done eating it.” This should feed four, unless you have bacon freaks in your household.

Hild’s Mushroom Bacon Dish of Might

  • 1 quart plus 2 tablespoons waterhildsmushroombacondishofmight
  • 1 pound potatoes, cut into ¾” chunks (peel or not; it depends what kind of potatoes you use)
  • ¾ pound premium bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 – 1½ cups onion, cut into ¼” slivers
  • ½ pound fresh mushrooms (cut them into ¼” slices or use whole buttons or halves)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

In a 5-quart deep skillet, combine the 1 quart water and the potatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain; don’t bother washing pan.  In the same skillet, fry the bacon over rather high heat, stirring frequently and scraping up the brown bits, until it is thoroughly cooked, but still rather chewy, not too crispy.  Reserve 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat and place bacon on paper towels.  Discard remaining fat (again, don’t bother washing pan).  Add the bacon fat and butter to the pan and melt over high heat.  Add the onions and potatoes and fry uncovered over high heat, stirring frequently, until the potatoes start browning at the edges, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and fry another 2 minutes over high heat.  Add the 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook over high heat for 2 minutes.  Uncover, add salt and pepper, and continue cooking over high heat until most of the liquid evaporates, another 1-2 minutes.  Mix in the bacon and serve.  Cover and refrigerate leftovers.  Serves 4.

green chile iconMix 4 ounces of well drained chopped and roasted green chile into the dish near the end of cooking. BTW, this little dragon indicates green chile variations; they are completely optional, but I live in Albuquerque, as you know by now, and we love our green chile around here…

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