Monday, 9 May 2011
How to make bacon and wild garlic potato cakes
In setting out to become self-sufficient (we aren't there yet), and with my historian's hat on, I have been exploring what people ate during the years of rationing (1940-54 in the UK). The meat supply then was a fraction of what we have now and potatoes formed a large part of the British diet. After the fall of France in 1940, Britain's supply of onions was diminished to the extent that onions became prized possessions that were given as wedding presents. So wartime cookery gave me the inspiration for this recipe I created to use up leftover mashed potato. Wild garlic is one of my favourite wild foods and it contains all the benefits that go with members of the onion family. It also allows us to eek out our meat supply - at the moment all our meat other than pheasant and duck which a friend swaps with us for jam - is still supermarket supplied.
Here is the recipe: chop a handful of garlic leaves and fry a couple of rashers of chopped bacon. Mix the chopped leaves and the bacon into the mashed potato and shape into cakes. Don't make them too thick as you will inevitably cook the outside and find the middle is cold.
Fry the cakes in a modest heat. Too high and you will incinerate the outside and leave the inside undercooked. Turn over a coupple of times until they are browned on the outside and then eat hot.