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I don’t watch nearly as much anime as I used to in my younger days, but a show still gets me hooked occasionally. Right now, Shokugeki no Soma (Food Wars) is that show. This isn’t the first time that this show has inspired me to run to my kitchen to recreate one of the dishes featured on the show (chicken karaage, anyone?), but these bacon wrapped mashed potatoes were the gateway to the wonderful world of animated food cravings. The protagonist makes a large one in the first episode and serves it with a soy-based sauce. I took the general idea and made it into smaller loaves, and put an American spin by basting them in barbecue sauce.
Now, wrapping potatoes in bacon is not a new thing, but what sets these apart is the addition of the onion and mushrooms into the mashed potato mix. The mushrooms help the potato absorb all of the flavor from the fat that drips off of the bacon as these cook, infusing the potato loaves with that baconey goodness that all sane people love.
First, you want to saute your onions, mushrooms, and garlic. You want to cook them until they have released most of their liquid.
Next, take some peeled and cooked potatoes and mash them in a bowl. You can cook them however you wish. I steamed mine, but you can also boil or bake them.
Mix the sauteed mushrooms and onions into the mashed potatoes, then form them into little potato-shaped loaves. Gently wrap each loaf in bacon. Remember that bacon will shrink once it releases some fat, so don’t wrap them too tightly. Give them some room to shrink without squishing the potato mixture underneath. Tie the bacon (gently!) onto each loaf, then bake in your preheated oven until the bacon is the desired color.
At this point, you can baste your loaves in your choice of barbecue sauce, then return to the oven for 10 minutes or so to let the sauce caramelize.
Now, I know that bacon wrapped mashed potatoes aren’t the healthiest thing around, but these are still great for the occasional treat. They are always well-received at parties or gatherings. They are a little time-consuming and require some patience, but that just means you won’t be tempted to make them often and run yourself to an early grave. One day, I might try adding cheese to them.
Bacon Wrapped Mashed Potatoes
- 2 lbs bacon
- 2 lbs russet potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups crimini mushrooms, diced
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce (more or less to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook your potatoes using your preferred cooking method. Remove the peels (if this wasn’t done prior to cooking), place in a bowl, and mash. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium to medium-high. Add the onions and saute until they start to soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute), then add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms have softened and released most of their liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly for 5-10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir the onion mixture to the mashed potatoes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Form into about 12 equal loaves, then wrap lightly in bacon. Gently fasten the bacon with kitchen twine.
Bake on a wire rack over a cookie sheet for 45 minutes to an hour (turning every 15 minutes), or until the bacon has rendered and browned sufficiently. Baste with barbecue sauce and continue to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes Allow to cool on wire rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Makes about 12 servings