Okay, actually only two places but they’re 3000 miles apart.
This week, we’re going to do things that are a bit less traditionally irish insofar as they’re from foreign countries, but still full of carbs. It’s a fair warning that vegans and the lactose intolerant should stop here because these dishes are goddamn full of cheese and cream and I don’t want you to feel bad by reading these delicious recipes. You could try equivalent ingredients but I can’t guarantee it’ll taste….good?
Coming from one side of the Atlantic, we have Tartiflette; a cheesy french Gratin made with reblochon cheese and bacon, it’s a wonderful gooey piece of comfort food that’s great for eating in miserable weather (so all the time in Ireland). Coming from our neighbours who are having a bit of an identity crisis over the other side of the ocean, we have Mac n’ Cheese, and I’m going to be showing you a really great, slightly spicy, creamy version that’s good for hangovers.
Serving size, one deceptively skinny French person
What you need.
- A medium to large pot.
- A frying pan.
- A high sided baking/roasting tray.
- Knife and board
- 1kg of potatoes
- 250g bacon lardons
- A Glass of white wine/Cider
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 shallots/ A decent sized red onion
- 200 ml of cream
- A whole reblochon cheese. (you can get em in tesco/the english market)
How to make it
- Slice the potatoes into 1cm ish pieces. Boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes, until they’re slightly cooked and then drain them and set them aside.
- Finely chop your garlic and onions. Fry them and the bacon lardons under a medium heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Once they’re golden brown add your booze to the pan to deglaze it and cook most of the liquid off.
- Mix your potatoes, bacon, onions, and garlic in your baking tray. Slice up your reblochon cheese, (Leave the rind on. really) and layer it on top. Pour your cream over it and stick her in the oven at about 180c until the potatoes are fully cooked and it’s golden brown on top.
Mac N’ Cheese
Serving size. Four non-students, or one hungover student.
What you need.
- Two pots. One for pasta, one for sauce
- A high sided tray. For serving/baking.
- 500g Macaroni
- 500ml of milk
- 200 grams of medium cheddar. Grated.
- 100 grams of a strong cheese. (Parmesan, strong cheddar)
- 2 tablespoons of english mustard.
- 1 teaspoon of chilli powder.
- 1 teaspoon of paprika.
- Salt and pepper
Bacon. Feta. Spinach. It’s a whole world of stuff.
How to make it.
- Cook up your macaroni in some salted water (It’s a so salty). Once it gets to al dente (Slightly firm, mostly cooked), turn it off and drain it.
- Make your sauce. Heat up the milk with the mustard, chilli powder and paprika, simmer it gently, and then start adding the medium cheddar. Slowly mix in the cheese, making sure it doesn’t start to burn. Turn off the heat and add your stronger cheese, stirring it to make sure it all melts.
- Taste it. Make sure it’s the right amount of salty. Don’t be afraid of adding some more cayenne or mustard either if you want more oomph. Get the flavour of the sauce right as you’re making it. If you think the sauce is too runny remember that you want it to coat everything but not be too heavy, and you can always just put more cheese in.
- Once the sauce is cooked. Put your Macaroni into your serving/baking dish. If you want to serve it straight away, pour the sauce over it, fold in through and serve immediately. If you want to bake it, cover it with some more cheese and stick it in the oven at 180c until golden brown.
You can put everything in macaroni. Blue cheese? Check. Bacon? Goddamn right. Spinach? Go wild. Pine Nuts, finely chopped basil and some Pecorino? You’re a bit bourgeois, but I won’t stop you.