Matthew Tomkinson was served stuffed jacket potatoes by his mum as a child. Here, he recreates the family treat, filling the baked spuds with bacon, leeks and cheese for a splendid weeknight dinner.
Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Have your children wash the potatoes and have them use a fork to prick holes in the potatoes all over.
Coat the potatoes with a little olive oil and season with salt. Place them on a baking tray lined with foil and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours, or until the skin is crispy and the potatoes are cooked through.
While the potatoes cook, slice the broccoli down into little florets and cook them in boiling water with a bit of salt for 3 minutes. Strain the broccoli and plunge them into iced water, leaving them for 5 minutes, then drain.
Finely slice the onion and garlic cloves and set aside. Dice the red pepper.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick pan on medium heat. Dice up the bacon into small bits, then fry up the bacon in the pan until just beginning to crisp.
Add the onion and garlic to the pan, along with the diced pepper. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, until the onions and garlic are just beginning to colour. Remove from the heat and add the broccoli florets to the pan. Set aside until ready to use.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, until they can be handled. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways, and work with your kids to scoop the potato flesh out into a bowl, being sure to leave the skin intact.
In the bowl, roughly mash the potato with a fork, and mix in the bacon, onion, garlic, pepper and broccoli. This is fun for kids to mix with clean hands, but have an adult check the temperature of the potato! Season the mixture with a bit of salt and pepper, then spoon the mash back into the skins.
Thoroughly wash the leek, then split them lengthways and slice finely. Sprinkle on top of the potatoes, then grate the cheddar over as well.
Place the stuffed potatoes back on the tray, and return them to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden, and the leeks are starting to brown.
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A recipe from the Great British Chefs main meals collection.
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.