Straight from the French countryside, the classic Tartiflette uses all of my favorite ingredients, potatoes, onions, bacon, cream and & Reblochon cheese, to stunning effect. Creamy, melted ripe cheese, smoky bacon, starchy sustenance, Tartiflette is the perfect new potato dish as evenings cool and we crave the warmth of home.
New potatoes with their thin skins and low starch are perfect for this dish, which is better the next day when the liquid has absorbed and the potatoes are swollen with cream. It then becomes the ultimate breakfast with a crispy fried egg on top to add the creamy fattiness of yoke to the mix. But I digress, we’ve already moved on to leftovers and haven’t even discussed the recipe. (But trust me on the breakfast thing!)
The Taste Of Home
The older he gets the more the French Chef in my life craves the hearty country dishes of his heritage. He will snap up ingredients as I drag them home from the market claiming them for his own cuisine that inevitably involves cream, butter or cheese and frequently, all of the above. He is something of a savant on the subject of potatoes, and (given the chance) will wax poetic on the subtle nuances of starch and how to use it to great advantage in the kitchen. This is his take on Tartiflette – French Potato Bacon & Reblochon Melt – straight from his Grandmother’s Burgundy country kitchen.
This hearty French dish, perfect to keep you warm this winter, is also a part of the Food Network’s Great Canadian Cookbook. A terrific collection of recipes from across the country from a very talented collection of food fanatics!
A recipe you can never go wrong with, that as luck would have it, is gluten-free. Who said eating gluten-free had to be boring!?
One Potato, Two Potato
Anticipating a question: Can you use starchy, mid-winter potatoes? Yes, of course you can. Simply peel and follow the method outlined below. The result with be slightly thicker and heartier for the winter months but let’s be honest here, this is anything but light fare. It’s a stick to your ribs (and arse) creamy, rich cheese and bacon loaded potato gratin that will leave you in a starch induced coma.
Straight from the French countryside, the classic Tartiflette uses just five ingredients to stunning effect. Creamy, melted ripe Reblochon cheese, smoky bacon, starchy potato sustenance, Tartiflette is the perfect potato dish as evenings cool and we crave comfort.
2 1/2 pounds (1100g) new potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1/2 pound (225g) thick-cut smoked bacon
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups (475ml) heavy cream (35% milk fat)
1 pound (450g) Reblochon-style cheese, sliced
salt & pepper – to taste
Wash and scrub potatoes well, removing all dirt and loose skin. Slice in thick 1/4 inch slices and rinse in cold water. In a medium sized pot, cover with cold, salted water and boil until just tender, but not soft; think half cooked, about 10 – 12 minutes. Then drain, rinse well in cold water and reserve to cool and dry. (If you’re using late harvest potatoes peel first.)
While potatoes cook slice your bacon in chunky 2 inch pieces, toss the bacon in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook until tender while you slice your onion. Pour off any excess fat, leaving about a tablespoon behind before adding the onion to sweat with the bacon until transparent. Taste. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat to allow to cool.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C). When potatoes are cool enough to handle arrange a layer of potato in the bottom of a large skillet and season well. Take your remaining potatoes and toss them with the bacon and onion, season and add to the top of the potato layer. Now add your cream, being sure to use enough cream to almost cover the potato mixture, leaving just the top layer exposed. Cut away the rind on the Reblochon. Cut remaining cheese into one inch chunks and place on top of your gratin before sliding the whole works into the oven to bake until you have a tender, well-cooked result with a crisp browned top; about 45 minutes.
Check Tartiflette doneness with the tip of a small knife to be sure the potatoes are cooked through. They should be tender, but not mushy. Remove from heat and rest about 10 minutes then serve and indulge — greatly. (I want to eat this right now!)
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.