Frico is pan-fried cheese, using something like a montasio. Usually it's served on its own with seasonings, but here it's cooked with a layer of sliced potato and some silverbeet (also known as Swiss chard) to make it a meal.
- 1 bunch silverbeet, leaves separated, stalks reserved for another use
- 25 gm lard (see note) or butter
- ½ large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 desiree potato (400gm), thinly sliced (5mm thick)
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 200 gm montasio, finely grated (see note)
- 1Preheat oven to 220C. Blanch silverbeet leaves (5-10 seconds), drain and refresh. Squeeze excess water from silverbeet, coarsely chop and set aside.
- 2Heat lard in a 15cm-diameter cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, season generously to taste, stir frequently until caramelised (10-15 minutes), remove from pan. Place alternate layers of potato and onion back into pan and add stock, pressing potato down gently with the back of a spoon to even out layers and ensure they are covered with the stock. Cook until potato is just tender and stock is absorbed (8-10 minutes). Drain excess stock from pan if potato becomes tender before stock is absorbed. Scatter silverbeet evenly over potatoes, then top evenly with montasio and bake until golden and crisp on top and around edges (20-30 minutes). Serve immediately with a lemon and olive oil-dressed rocket and spinach salad.
Note You can buy lard from supermarkets, but making your own will give the best flavour here. To render chopped pork back fat, place it in a saucepan and add enough water to come 2cm up sides of the pan. Cook very slowly over low heat until the fat renders. Cool, then chill in refrigerator and scoop off fat from liquid (discarding liquid). Lard will keep refrigerated for 1 month in a sealed jar. Montasio cheese is a semi-hard cheese available from Italian delicatessens.
Drink Suggestion: Plenty of ice-cold Peroni. Drink suggestion by Max Allen