Chef Brandon Sharp’s Pommes Boulangère (Baker’s Potatoes)
Much more than simply baked potatoes, this dish is rounded out with bacon, rapini, and poached eggs.
Baker’s Potatoes With Rapini and Poached Eggs
Chef Brandon Sharp, Solbar at Solage Calistoga (Calistoga, Calif.)
Pommes Boulangère gets its name because the potatoes were traditionally placed in the baker’s oven at the end of the day, to cook slowly as the oven cooled down. This made for a hearty, easy, cheap weeknight wintertime dinner, and the potatoes taste equally good with cold beer or cabernet.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 ounces sliced bacon, cut into lardons (1/4-inch batons)
- 1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
- 1.5 pounds marble or fingerling potatoes
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 bunch rapini, cleaned, leaves and florets only
- 1/2 teaspoon chilI flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 eggs, cracked into separate bowls or ramekins
- white vinegar and salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy, wide sauteuse with a lid, heat the oil over a medium high flame. Add the bacon. Cook until nearly crisp, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low and lift bacon out of pan. Add onions and sweat in the bacon fat till very tender, 10–15 minutes. Add the potatoes, thyme, garlic, and a dose of salt and pepper. Stir, cover, and place in oven for two hours or until potatoes are tender and creamy. Remove from oven, stir in bacon, and hold warm.
Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Add a tablespoon of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt per quart of water.
In a sauté pan, heat the oil over a medium flame. Add the rapini with a good pinch of salt and sauté gently till al dente. Add the chili flake and garlic, sauté 30 seconds more, and pour out over the potatoes.
Stirring the water gently, slide the eggs in, one at a time. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, until the whites are fully set but the yolks are still very tender. Meanwhile, divide the potatoes and rapini among four warm plates. With a slotted spoon, lift one egg at a time and blot on a towel. Season with salt and place in the middle of the potatoes. Spoon some of the bacon fat/pan jus from the potatoes over the egg, and serve immediately.