These potato pancakes originate from the North-East of France in Alsace. They epitomize Alsacian cuisine with the use of cured, smoked bacon and duck fat! Simply sublime cold-weather food!
One day in advance: Boil the potatoes in a large pan of salted water. Drain, cool and keep covered in the refrigerator.
To prepare: Grate the potatoes and season with salt. You can peel the potatoes before grating, if you prefer. Set aside.
Cut the smoked bacon into thin slices, then into batons. Place the bacon lardons in a cold frying pan and heat on a medium hob. Leave the lardons to render out some fat. When they begon to sizzle, stir them so that they do not burn, and keep frying until they are crisped to your liking. Drain on some kitchen towel, and set aside until cooled.
Combine the grated potatoes with the cooled bacon bits, and form the mix into bite sized balls.
Heat the duck fat in a frying pan until it becomes hazy, yet not smoking. Use a spatula to flatten the potato balls in the pan. Fry for 10 minutes until a crisp brown crust has formed on the bottom. Flip the potato pancakes, and fry the other side until brown and crusty.
Set aside in a warm oven until ready to serve.
«For a vegetarian option, replace the smoked bacon with some grated, smoked cheese, and fry the pancakes in some butter or vegetable oil.»