Patate in Tecia
- 2 1/4 Pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, minced
- 2 Ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 1/2 Cup beef broth
This recipe is a classic dish from Trieste, Italy, a port city on the Adriatic, just to the north of Slovenia's Istria peninsula. "In Tecia" refers to the cast-iron pan that would normally be used to cook this dish; you will find many other recipes using this name, from pollo (chicken) to cavolo (cabbage) to melanzane (eggplant).
This is almost a cross between mashed potatoes and hash browns — you combine mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and bacon, then allow it to sit and cook so a crust forms. Then you break up the crust so the nice, crispy, browned potato crust is mixed in with the creamy mashed potatoes. The best of both worlds!
See all potato recipes.
Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and season with salt, to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low boil, and cook until tender. Drain, and then mash them. Set aside.
In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bacon, and reduce the heat as much as you can. Cook the onion and bacon over very low heat until the onion is a deep golden brown, sweet and falling apart, adding just a bit of water if necessary. This will take anywhere from 40-60 minutes. (If you use more heat and less time, the onion will not be as sweet.)
When the onion is done, spoon the potatoes on top of the onion. Add the beef broth, and season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Cook for 5 minutes as is. Then stir for 1-2 minutes, breaking up the crust that formed on the bottom. Stop stirring, and cook for 5 more minutes, again allowing a crust to form on the bottom. (You want a nice crust, which you can then break up into crisp bits that will be stirred back into the potatoes.) Stir for 1-2 minutes to break up the crust, then serve.
Note: This can be reheated, but will likely need a little bit more broth added to moisten. You can also cook and mash the potatoes and caramelize the onions well in advance, then combine and finish just before serving.