Tartiflette

While attending language courses at IFALPES in Annecy, I live with a French family. Included in my rent is breakfast everyday (not lunch or dinner). However, my first weekend here, they invited me to join them for dinner because Claude, the wife/mother, had made a Tartiflette, which was wonderful of course.

What’s a Tartiflette, you ask? Essentially it’s a hearty dish made of sliced potatoes (you know I like my potatoes!), melted cheese, onions, and lardons (or bacon/pancetta) which is then baked in the oven until golden and piping hot.  From a region steeped in Alpine history, the Haute-Savoie cuisine reflects the centuries-old traditions and culture that formed as a result of living in the French Alps. The Tartiflette is emblematic of the cuisine from this region which relies heavily on potatoes, cheese, pork, and other items that can easily be stored and accessed during the long winter months in the mountains.

Since that family dinner, I have seen Tartiflettes available everywhere including vendors at the outdoor/street markets. I’m sure like any regional cuisine, everyone has a different but “right” way to make it, and my French family has vowed that I will learn how to make theirs before I leave. Here’s a recipe translated into English by me (below) from Marmiton, which I learned from class on Thursday is a great place for French recipes. Bon Apetitit!

Tartiflette

Tartiflette, Image courtesy of BBC Food Recipes, http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/tartiflette_59096

“The True Tartiflette” from Marmiton

Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 60 minutes

Ingredients (for 4 peeople) :
– 1 kg (just over 2lbs) of potatoes
– 200g (1/2 lb) of smoked lardons (cubed ham or pancetta works, too)
– 200g (1/2 lb) of onions, chopped
– 1 Reblochon  (type of soft cow’s milk cheese from Haute-Savoie)
– 2 soup spoons of oil
– garlic, salt, pepper to taste
Note: other recipes included creme fraiche while this one did not. It’s up to you whether to add some creme fraiche before the Reblochon; it might help to keep the potatoes from getting too dry.

The Prep :

Peel and cube the potatoes. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel.
Heat the oil in a skillet with the onions until soft; add the potatoes.
Brown the potatoes on all sides; add the lardons and finish cooking.

Meanwhile, scrape the rind off the Reblochon and cut in half (or quarters).
Prepare a baking or casserole dish by rubbing the bottom and sides with garlic.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (about 400°F)
Cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of the potato-lardon-onion mixture. Layer half of the Reblochon on top of that followed by the rest of the potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper throughout.
Top it off with the rest of the Reblochon which will become a cheesy crust for the dish

Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Serve with :

Wine from Savoie: Vin de Savoie Apremont or Vin de Seyssel
Or choose a light, crisp white wine to balance the heaviness of the cheese.

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