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Blistered potato bake

Potato Bake

I have shared many kayak journeys with Guy, including a 450km trip from Takapuna to Cape Reinga to raise funds for the Child Cancer – although on that trip I was one of the land based support crew. A particularly memorable occasion was meeting the nine paddlers at Matauri Bay after they had been held up by bad weather at Whangamumu and unable to get around Cape Brett for two days. When the group finally reached Matauri Bay they had been paddling a solid 12 hours and were exhausted and blistered.

Despite the blisters to his hands, Guy produced this dish. I have since used it regularly.

Prepared and cooked at home, it fits well in a kayak when you need a pot-luck dish and have the facility to re-heat it. You need to carry a dish; try one of the new silicone ones, they are light and flexible and easily fit in a backpack, saddle bag or storage hatch. Be warned – they are floppy and it is easy to end up with half the food on the floor; use an oven tray or dinner plate under the dish when transferring from oven to bench. The potato bake can also be eaten cold to go with a salad or leftovers, and can be shoved into a plastic pottle for a lunch.

Guy’s potato bake


  • 1 large onion
  • 250gm bacon
  • 3 or 4 large potatoes
  • 200 to 300ml mayonnaise
  • 200gm Colby or tasty Cheddar cheese


Peel and slice the spuds 3-5cm thick, gently boil, add tsp of salt.

Peel and dice onion, remove fat and rind of bacon, then cut into pieces. Fry onion and bacon together in a pan with a little oil.

Spread drained and cooked potato over base of an oven proof dish to a depth of 50mm to 75mm. Spread the onion and bacon mixture on top, then the mayonnaise.

Gently mix the layers together, trying not to break the potato up too much, and spread evenly.

Grate cheese over the top until it covers the potato mixture.

Bake in a moderate oven (180°C) for 30min. If you assemble and bake when the potato is still warm, it won’t need so long in the oven.   

– Ruth Henderson