Tartiflette

Tartiflette

Wotchers!

This recipe is just right for warming the cockles of your heart either after an invigorating walk or standing around a crackling bonfire.

It is a peasant dish, originating in Savoie, the region of the French Alps and is of a similar origin to Cholera Pie, in that it is composed of store-cupboard staples. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is in any way a dull dish – it is packed with flavour and quite satisfying enough for a main meal, served alongside a crisp salad. Whilst this incarnation of the dish has only been around since the 1980s, it is actually derived from a much older regional recipe called La péla. In the older, vegetarian version, the unpeeled, raw potatoes are cubed and pan-fried in oil. Onions are added and when these turn golden brown, slices of reblochon are laid over the top. The dish is served when the cheese has melted.

There are lots of Tartiflette recipes online, many of which veer dangerously close to being a variation of either Dauphinois Potatoes or a potato fondue, neither of which are authentic. In this recipe, which comes from a little French book of Grandmothers’ recipes, the flecks of bacon and onion and the rich, melted cheese just coat the potatoes without overpowering or drowning them in too much liquid.

Speaking of potatoes, allow me to recommend a very special variety which is both my absolute favourite and absolutely perfect for this recipe. Grab them if you can find them: Pink Fir Apple Potatoes.

Pink Fir Apple Potatoes

Pink Fir Apple Potatoes

Similar in appearance to fingerling/Anya potatoes, but with a distinctive pink blush to their skins, they have the unique quality of being a slightly floury, waxy variety with such a delicious flavour, you can eat them on their own. By which I don’t mean ‘on their own with some butter, salt and pepper’, I mean, literally, with nothing else – they taste that good.

If you’re unable to find any Pink Fir Apple, then Anya are an acceptable substitute.

The other main ingredient is Reblochon cheese. This is a soft, rinded cheese with quite a pungent flavour that melts beautifully – a little goes a long way! It is available in UK supermarkets either as a small (10cm) whole cheese or in portions of half of a larger (15cm) cheese.

You can assemble this recipe and heat through immediately, or make ahead and pop it in the oven when you need it. It takes less than 30 minutes to warm through.

Tartiflette serving

Tartiflette

This recipe will serve four, or three if very hungry. Actually, it’ll serve one if you’re ravenous, but I think it’s best to draw a veil over that particular mental image.

800g Pink Fir apple or Anya potatoes
150g smoked bacon lardons
2 medium (apple-sized) onions, chopped fine
125ml reduced fat creme fraiche
1 reblochon cheese, 200-250g
coarse-ground black pepper
chopped parsley to garnish

  • Bring a pan of water to the boil.
  • Wash the potatoes and then steam them in their skins over the boiling water for 15 minutes. Set aside.
  • Put the bacon and onion into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and starting to caramelise.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche.
  • Cut the reblochon cheese into fat matchsticks.
  • Cut the potatoes into 2cm slices.
  • Butter an ovenproof dish.
  • Layer the ingredients: 1/3 of the potatoes, 1/3 of the bacon mixture, 1/3 of the cheese, pepper.
  • Repeat 3 times until the ingredients have all been used .
  • Cover tightly with foil and set aside until needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
  • Put your dish into the oven with its foil covering and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for up to 10 minutes more, if necessary, to crisp the top.
  • Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with a fresh salad.

One Comment on “Tartiflette”

  1. Jean says:

    We love tartiflette in this house. The first time we encountered it was in Briançon and we’ve been fans ever since.
    Thanks for the recipe!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s