Not difficult, but messy and fairly time consuming. Also, supremely un-nutritious, as comfort food should be. Prep time 20 minutes, baking time 1 hour 5 minutes. Serves 4–6 as a side dish.
Unpeeled potatoes—20 new potatoes, or 4 big ones, or 6 medium, something like that
½ stick butter OR, ¼ stick butter plus the fat from frying 5 bacon rashers
1 small onion
1 tbsp. white flour
1¾ cups whole milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. paprika
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup breadcrumbs or crushed up crackers
few shakes Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Slice the scrubbed, unpeeled potatoes into 1/8-inch slices and toss them in a large casserole dish.
3. Melt the butter—or, fry the optional bacon, remove the rashers once crispy and save for later, and then add half the butter. Finely chop the onion then cook it in the fat on medium heat until soft.
4. Add the flour, milk, 1½ cups of the shredded cheddar, salt, garlic salt, paprika, pepper flakes and pepper. Bring to a boil and keep boiling, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute.
5. Pour buttery-milky-cheesy sin mixture over the potatoes. Crumble bacon onto it all, if you bothered with the bacon. Turn well, and arrange the potatoes evenly in the dish.
6. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes, or until the edges are browning and the potatoes are soft when speared with a fork.
7. Mix together the remaining cheddar, the breadcrumbs, and the Parmesan, then sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole. Return to oven and bake uncovered for another ten minutes, until the top is nicely browned and crispy.
8. Let cool for 10 minutes, and serve.