My boyfriend is in the Alps this weekend, prancing about in powder and having a jolly good time of it. I want some fun too. It is not snowing outside and I am hundreds of miles away from any mountain range. I am not swaddled in a dozen layers like a podgy onion, nor have I burnt off any of my breakfast. But I’m still going to make tartiflette. To prove the rather radical proposition that après-ski requires absolutely no ski at all. It’s a myth kept alive by people trying to make us exercise.
Tartiflette originated in the Haute Savoie region of France and is filthily good – Fluffy potatoes doused in bacon, fried onions and melted reblochon cheese. And I guarantee that it feels even dirtier if you’ve done nothing to deserve it. Serve with a crisp, green salad to cut through the richness of the dish and a bottle of red (sharing optional).
p.s. If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful with which to feed the masses and line stomachs, this is it.
Serves a hungry 4 as a main
– 1 kg potatoes, washed
– generous knob unsalted butter
– 2 large white onions, sliced into semi-circles
– 250g smoked bacon, cut into 1-2cm lardons
– 4 heaped tablespoons crème fraiche
– 1 whole reblochon (2 half-moons)
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water, bring to the boil and keep on a rolling boil until just cooked (the time will depend on the size of your potatoes!). Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
Melt the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat and sweat the onions for 5-10 minutes until soft. Add the lardons and cook for another 5 minutes or so until cooked through.
Slice the potatoes into 1-2 cm thick medallions, peel on, and arrange a layer on the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Cover with half the onion and bacon and top with a couple of heaped tablespoons of crème fraiche. Season with a few generous grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Tip: I find that there is no need to add salt as the bacon and cheese are salty enough. If you are a die-hard salt lover, add a little here.
Repeat the layers – potato, onion and bacon, crème fraiche, seasoning – and then finish with a final layer of potatoes. Pour any liquid left in the frying pan over the potatoes.
To finish, gently grate some of the rind from the reblochon and discard. Slice in half lengthwise so you end up with four semi-circles and arrange, rind-side up, over the potatoes.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is turning golden.
Serve immediately with a fresh, green salad.
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.