4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
sea salt & freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 medium tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded & chopped*
1 tbsp sugar
3 lbs baking potatoes
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1.5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, snipped
2 tsp fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over a high heat. When hot, reduce the heat to moderate and add the onions. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. In another large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil over moderately high heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook until tender, 1 or 2 minutes, careful not to burn. Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Add the sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
4. Combine the onions and tomatoes, and continue cooking to thicken, about 10 minutes more. Taste for seasoning.
5. Meanwhile, peel, wash, and cut the potatoes into very thin slices (~3mm if using mandoline). Set aside about one quarter of the potatoes, which will be used as the topping. In a large bowl, combine the remaining potatoes with the tomatoes and onions and toss carefully to blend.
6. Rub the bottom of 9x13 inch baking dish with 1 tbsp of the butter. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon. Add enough chicken stock to cover.
7. In a medium-size bowl, combine the reserved topping potatoes, the remaining 1 tbsp butter, and the parsley. Toss to coat evenly. Beginning at one end of the dish, place the buttered potatoes, one by one, in slightly overlapping rows on top of the tomato-covered potatoes, until the entire dish is covered with an even potato layer. Sprinkle with the thyme.
8. Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake until the potatoes are soft, most of the liquid has been absorbed, and the top is golden, about 1.5 hours. Serve immediately.
Contributed by Stephanie Leonard