This crispy, cheesy, creamy stilton and bacon gratin is just what you need on those cold winter nights.
800g floury potatoes, such as king edward, very finely sliced
100g unsmoked bacon lardons
1 large onion, sliced
Butter for greasing, plus extra (optional)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g stilton, crumbled
200ml double cream
Blanch the potato slices in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and lay on kitchen paper to steam dry. Leave until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a high heat and dry-fry the bacon lardons until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the onion and cook gently for a few minutes until soft but not coloured, adding a little butter if it becomes dry. Stir in the garlic, then cook for another couple of minutes.
Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/ gas 4. Lightly butter a 1 litre gratin dish. Layer one-third of the potatoes on the bottom, season with pepper and a little salt (the stilton and bacon lardons are both salty, so bear this in mind when seasoning). Top with half the cheese, half the onion and garlic mixture and half the lardons, then pour over a third of the cream. Repeat, then finish with a layer of potatoes and the rest of the cream.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is golden, crisp and bubbling around the edges. Leave the gratin to stand for 5 minutes, then serve alongside your main of choice.