Award-winning chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton are the chef-owners of the much-beloved Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. With a focus on the live-fire and asador cooking traditions of Central and South America, their new cookbook, Around the Fire, is a must-have for grillmasters of any level or walk of life.
Bacon-sherry cream is one of Greg’s favorite sauces to make, and everything we’ve ever served it with has been so damned delicious — summer corn, Brussels sprouts, roasted scallops, lentils. It’s incredible on new potatoes, which take on crispy skins when grilled.
Though the sauce is cream-based and rich, it’s balanced with black pepper, acid from the sherry vinegar, and juicy sweetness from the grilled onion. You can make the sauce and thread the skewers in advance, then throw the skewers on the grill after your guests settle in.
- 1/2 cup chopped bacon (from about 2 thick-cut slices), homemade or store-bought
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 large cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
- 1/2 bunch thyme (about 15 sprigs)
- 1/2 cup sherry vinegar
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Grilled Potatoes and Bacon
- 1 1/2 pounds extra-small new potatoes (preferably no bigger than a ping pong ball)
- kosher salt
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 to 7 slices thick-cut bacon cut into 1-inch lengths, homemade or store-bought
For the skewers
To make the bacon-sherry cream, put the bacon, butter, and garlic in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the peppercorns and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until the thyme stops sputtering. Add the vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
Add the cream and salt and bring to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer to avoid boiling over. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Keep warm, reheating to hot just before serving.
Prepare a grill to medium-high heat.
Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the water and bring to a simmer; simmer until completely tender when pierced with a knife, 14 to 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a baking sheet. Let cool to room temperature.
Place the cooled potatoes in a bowl. (If any are larger than the diameter of a quarter, cut in half.) Cut the onion into 1-inch square chunks and add them to the bowl with the potatoes. Drizzle with the oil, salt, and pepper, and toss gently to coat. Using flat metal skewers, begin to skewer alternating pieces of potato, onion, and bacon, pressing them tightly together.
Once all the vegetables and bacon are skewered, be sure to oil the grate and place the skewers on the grill. Cook until the onions and bacon slices have some char to them and the potatoes are heated through, rotating often, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the skewers from the heat and serve with the bacon-sherry cream in a bowl on the side or drizzled over the top of the skewers.