Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes in the basket of a vegetable steamer. Steam until a sharp paring knife easily enters the flesh, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the potatoes. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. This last step renders the potatoes crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. A few minutes before the potatoes are ready, saute the bacon (or pancetta) over medium-high heat until golden. When the potatoes are ready, add the bacon, sprinkle with the chives and coarse salt; transfer to a serving dish or onto individual plates.
If using larger potatoes such as Red Bliss or Yukon Gold, halve or quarter the slices.
Recipe courtesy of Van Gogh's Table at the Auberge Ravoux (Artisan, 2001) by Alexandra Leaf and Fred Leeman
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