Because I aim to please, I said I would make Tartiflette for Sunday lunch and since Tartiflette is a French dish, I thought that maybe I’d attempt to take some photos of the process and share it with you.
Disclaimer: The following photos are far, far from food blogger territory, but practice makes perfect, right?
If summers in Provence belong to barbecues, Aioli and Rosé, the colder weather calls for much heavier, stick to your ribs kind of fare, most of it laden with cheese, like Tartiflette.
First you start by peeling potatoes, about 1kg/ 2.2lbs of them. Boil them until they are soft enough to stick a knife through, and then drain them, letting them cool.
While the potatoes are boiling, slice a medium sized onion, and saute it with 200g of lardons. (Lardons are small cubes of pork, if you don’t have lardons, you can use pancetta, Canadian bacon, or regular old bacon as a substitute. And that poses a question to any of my Canadian readers… do you just call bacon, bacon, or do you call it Canadian bacon? I have always wanted to know that.)
While that is sauteing, butter a casserole dish and set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough, slice them, and cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of about half of them. Oh, and you can go ahead and turn on the oven now too if you’d like, 235°C/ 455°F.
When the onions are soft and the lardons have rendered their fat, top the layer of potatoes with half of them like so.
Throw the other half of the potatoes on top (maybe not ‘throw’, layer nicely).
Then add the last of the lardons and onions on top of that. And now it’s time for the goodness… spoon dollops of crème fraîche across it.
I’m going to go ahead and tell you this now, this was not enough crème fraîche. After Gregory had tasted the finished Tartiflette, I asked him if there was anything about the recipe that I should tweak for next time and he said, more cream. So there you go, don’t be stingy with the crème fraîche.
Le fromage… the pièce de résistance. Traditionally, Tartiflette calls for Reblochon cheese but if you can’t get your hands on any of that, you can use Brie or a mixture of Gruyere and Muenster. Slice about 250g – 500g of it, depending on how cheesy you want to get (I used about 300g), and lay it across the top. (There are lots of debates about how it should be sliced; whether it should be sliced in wide pieces, rind on or off, but it’s really up to you, after all, you’re the one eating it.) If you’d like, you can go ahead and pour some white wine over it, but you don’t have to, it’s totally optional (I did. Of course I did.)
Pop it in the oven, sit down and relax for a bit with an apéro and let the Tartiflette get all golden and bubbly, about twenty minutes or so.
Serve it with a simple salad in a light vinaigrette, nothing heavy. The presence of greens on your plate will make you feel a lot less guilty about the pile of delicious carbs and sinful cheese and cream sitting next to it.
Et voila! Sit back and enjoy the scrumptiousness and the brownie points with a bottle of crisp white wine if you are so inclined, I know I am. Bon Appétit!