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I have all of Nigel Slater's books, and each and every one of them belongs in pride of place in Cookbook Corner, but right now I am revelling - greedily, joyously - in Eat - The Little Book of Fast Food. And you don't need me to tell you that Mr Slater's fast food is nothing to do with the less salubrious fare most associated with that term. This is all about flavoursome, unfussy food you can rustle up for supper without stress. And written, as ever, oh so beautifully.

I've chosen his Bacon Boulangère because it perfectly demonstrates his unpretentious simplicity as much as his understanding of the food we - I - want to eat.

Bacon Boulangere


From Eat by Nigel Slater, published by Fourth Estate, 2013.



Smoked bacon

Vegetable stock


Scrub 350g large floury potatoes then slice them thinly, about the same thickness as a pound coin. Remove the rind from 10 rashers of smoked streaky bacon and cut them into three lengthways.

In an ovenproof dish, layer the potatoes and bacon, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Pour in 500ml vegetable stock, cover the dish with foil and bake for an hour at 200ºC/gas 6. Remove the foil and continue to cook for 15 minutes till brown.

Serve with a crisp salad of iceberg-style lettuce and peppery watercress.

For 4. Frugal, plain and simple. Peaceful starch and soothing stock with a back note of smoke.