Potato, caramelised onion and L’Escala anchovy

I couldn’t decide what to call this. A ‘bake’, perhaps. It’s not a tart because it has no base, nor a pie, because it has no pastry. It’s not a Jansson’s temptation because it has onions and rosemary in it. In the end I just gave up and listed some ingredients.

There are layers of potato, sweet caramelised onions with garlic and rosemary and plump L’Escala anchovies, all melding together with the help of some cream. The top is burnished gold; all curled, crunchy edges and teasing chew. The inside is soft and slightly gooey; a little cream oozing out between the layers as you press with a fork.

We ate slices with a big green salad but it struck me that the dish would be a perfect accompaniment to steak. Literally perfect. As if there isn’t enough calories on the plate already. I lined the dish with butter too, by the way. No messing about. All the richness of potato with salty anchovy, rosemary and garlic – it’s screaming for a bone-in rib-eye.

Obviously you don’t need to use L’Escala anchovies for this, but do try to find the silvery fillets packed in jars, as those brown tinned ones will only disappoint.

Potato, caramelised onion and anchovy bake

You could use any size tin, as it’s just a case of layering. Mine was 22cm.

1 jar good quality anchovies packed in olive oil
6-8 large potatoes sliced as thinly as possible
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
142ml pot single cream
Butter, for greasing the dish
Salt and pepper

Begin by caramelising your onions. Heat the oil from the anchovy jar and add the onions, then sweat them down over a very low heat for about an hour, or until completely soft and caramelised. Add the garlic and rosemary for a few minutes at the end of cooking, stirring often.

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease the dish well with butter.

To layer up the dish, begin with a layer of potatoes, overlapping them slightly. Follow this with a layer of anchovies (about 4 fillets), then a layer of onions. Spoon over a few tablespoons of cream, spreading it around as evenly as you can. Season with black pepper but be careful with salt as the anchovies are salty. If you do end up with those brown tinned fillets, don’t use any salt at all.

Repeat this until the dish is full. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crisp.

Category: Fish, Lunchbox, Main Dishes, Seafood, Side Dishes, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Potato, caramelised onion and L’Escala anchovy”

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  2. aforkfulofspaghetti

    I’m having me some of that. Anchovies – check; potato – check; caramelised onion – check.

    Will probably be needing a bigger dish, though ;)

  3. Lizzie

    OH MY DAYS. This looks amazing. Must make.

    (I have used 5 anchovies out of my 4 jars. Pitiful, no?)

  4. Miss Cay

    Holy cow! That looks delicious. And you’re right, it would be the perfect dish to accompany steak.

  5. miss south

    Oooh, I have a tinned of smoked anchovies needed used up. This would be the perfect way to do that. I might be making this for lunch…

  6. Sharon

    Wow. I am salivating at my desk. It has everything I could want in a dish – and you are so right about being the perfect accompaniment to a steak. I HAVE to make this very soon.

  7. Eliza Flanagan

    That is delicious.. I am going to pop downstairs right now, and whip me up some of that gorgeous anchovy suprise…

  8. Sally - My Custard Pie

    This does look like heaven in a dish. I want to reach in now with a spoon and hack away some of the crispy potato from the sides. Did you have to beat people off to take the photo?

  9. William

    Lush, i did a dish like this a while ago but without caramelising the onions first and with tinned anchovies to go with roast lamb. This looks spot on – perfect for a cold Autumn evening.

  10. Anna Johnston

    Wonderful, love it. It really would be just the thing to pair with…., well…. any piece of protein to dress up the meal wouldn’t it. Excellent idea.

  11. Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen

    What a beautifully rustic dish!

  12. Maunika

    I want! This looks so good Helen. Apart from the fact that you take brill photos, the combination of potatoes, anchovies & caramelised onions is hearty as ever!


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