This is a great recipe for serving at a party on a cold winters night. Use small potatoes if you want to serve them as part of a finger buffet. You could use grated cheese instead of anchovies and bacon as a vegetarian alternative.
4 baking potatoes, scrubbed
4 pieces of back bacon, rind removed
4 anchovies, drained of oil
4 small, young sage leaves
flaked sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Gouge a hole in the middle of each potato with a potato peeler or apple corer. Lay a strip of bacon on a chopping board, place an anchovy on top and sage leaf on top of that.
Pack the bacon, anchovy and sage leaf into the hole in the centre of the potato and make a 'plug' made from the gauged-out centre of the potato debris to stopper the hole and to keep the filling in as best as you can.
Scatter flaked sea salt over the potatoes. Dampen the skin of the potatoes slightly to ensure the salt sticks.
Place the potatoes on a roasting tray and cook for up to an hour. At 45 minutes check to see if the skins are crisp and the centre of the potato is soft. Return to the oven for more time if they need it.
To serve the potatoes as a main meal you might like to cook a little more bacon to scatter over and serve with homemade coleslaw.
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