This is the result of tonight's food experiment. It turned out rather nicely so I thought I'd share it. I've just eaten a large portion and feel very fat, happy and satisfied indeed, and I highly recommend it as a budget autumn survival food if you're short on cash or just need comforting after a wet/cold day.
8 medium potatoes (roughly fist sized) cut into chunks, washed, peeling is optional
2 large leeks thinly sliced
1 large white onion diced
1 bundle spring onions thinly sliced
1 pack smoked streaky bacon snipped into pieces with scissors (so much easier than a knife)
Mature cheddar, grated
Shove the potatoes in a large pot, cover with water and boil until ready for mashing. While that's going on, fry the vegetables and bacon in about a teaspoon's worth of lard until the bacon's cooked, and the onions and leeks have gone soft. There's no need to brown them, so cook them low and slow for about 20 minutes.
When the potatoes are done (you should be able to poke a fork through them with no resistance), mash them up with a generous amount of butter and lots of black pepper. Thanks to the bacon, you shouldn't need additional salt but you can add any other flavourings you fancy. A dash of wholegrain mustard is worth experimenting with.
Combine the mashed potatoes with the ingredients from the frying pan, juice and all, and mix well.
Transfer the whole lot to a roasting dish, and top with a layer of grated cheese.
Shove it under the grill until the cheese has melted and gone a golden-brown colour.
This makes quite a lot of servings and will keep well for several days if covered over and stored in the oven. Reheat and devour as needed