- ▢8 small floury potatoes – such a Maris Pipers
- ▢1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ▢7 oz (200g) pancetta cubes (or bacon lardons)
- ▢2 tbsp double/heavy cream
- ▢2 tbsp salted butter
- ▢1 pinch of salt and pepper
- ▢1 ¾ cups (175g) of your favourite cheese – I used a mix of 75% mature chedder and 25% red Leicester, grated
- ▢4 tbsp soured cream
- ▢4 spring onions (scallions) – chopped
- Preheat your oven to 190c. Prick your potatoes with a fork and start them off in the microwave. Put all the potatoes in the microwave and microwave on high for 10 minutes (alternatively you can add 20 minutes to the cooking time in the oven).
- Put your potatoes in the oven, directly on the shelf and cook for 35-45 minutes until they’re crisp on the outside and soft on the inside (you can check this by stabbing a knife into one of the potatoes to see if it slides in easily).
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small frying pan/skillet over a medium-high heat. Cook the pancetta cubes for 5-6 minutes, until crispy. Remove from the pan.
- When your potatoes are ready, take out of the oven and chop each of the potatoes in half. Pick up a potato half (using a tea towel to protect your hands) and using a spoon, scoop out the insides into a large bowl. Repeat with the rest of the potatoes.
- Add the cream, butter and salt & pepper to the bowl and mash using a potato masher or a fork until the potato is fluffy.
- Add in the pancetta and cheese (reserving a small handful for sprinkling on top). Mix together.
- Take one of the potato skins and put a spoonful of the potato mix inside. Put the potato in a baking dish and sprinkle with a little of the reserved cheese. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
- When all of the potatoes are stuffed, put them back in the oven for 10-15 minutes (same temperature).
- Take out of the oven and serve with soured cream and a sprinkling of spring onions (scallions).
If you want to prepare these baking potatoes ahead, then follow the instructions up to the end of stage 7.Let the potatoes cool completely, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. When you’re ready to cook, uncover and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until piping hot all the way through.
Swap out the pancetta cubes for chopped up pieces of crispy bacon. You can use smoked or unsmoked.
I like to use Rooster potatoes – which are red-skinned floury potatoes. Any floury potato – such as Russet, Desiree, Maris Piper or Kind Edward will also work great.