This Lithuanian-American “pudding” of grated potatoes, eggs, and bacon bits is so robust and dense that you can actually slice it. A very rich, very delicious special-occasion side dish, it holds up well on a buffet table. The recipe is an adaptation of one from a friend from Wheaton, Illinois.
Kugelis is typically served with sour cream or gravy; leftovers may be sliced thickly, sautéed in butter, and served for breakfast or brunch.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium flame; add bacon pieces and cook until crispy. Discard all but 3 tablespoons bacon fat. Keep bacon bits and remaining bacon fat warm.
Heat oven to 500 degrees. Grease a large, deep, rectangular baking dish. Finely grate onion into a large bowl. Beat in eggs, hot evaporated milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in bacon bits and bacon fat.
Peel potatoes, dropping them into cold water as they are peeled to prevent darkening. Working as quickly as possible (again to prevent the potatoes from darkening), finely grate the potatoes and stir them into the onion/egg/milk mixture. Press mixture into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 and continue baking until potato mixture is browned and set, about 45 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes before serving. Cut into squares and serve with sour cream or gravy.
Copyright by Terese Allen