The fusion of potatoes, cheese, and bacon makes this a universally appealing comfort food, perfect for warming up on a frosty winter’s day or indulging in after an energetic day spent outdoors.
Tartiflette is a quintessential French dish that hails from the scenic Savoy region in the French Alps, renowned for its breathtaking vistas, exceptional skiing opportunities, and rich gastronomic heritage. This warm and appetizing meal is usually savored during the chilly winter months as a means to reheat after a day spent skiing or participating in other outdoor pursuits. The term “tartiflette” stems from the Savoyard dialect word “tartiflâ,” which refers to the potato, a primary ingredient in this dish.
Although the roots of tartiflette can be traced to the early 1900s, the contemporary version of the dish gained prominence in the 1980s when Reblochon cheese manufacturers endeavored to increase their product’s sales. Reblochon, a velvety, soft cheese with a washed rind, plays a vital role in tartiflette and imparts the dish with its distinct flavor. Since then, tartiflette has evolved into a cherished comfort food in France and beyond, with numerous variations and adaptations to accommodate different palates and dietary needs.
The essential components of tartiflette include potatoes, Reblochon cheese, onions, bacon or lardons, white wine, and cream. Some recipes incorporate garlic, thyme, or nutmeg to augment the taste. Conventionally, the dish is prepared in a casserole or ovenproof dish, featuring layers of potatoes, cheese, and bacon, culminating in a warm, melty, and gratifying meal.
As for wine pairings, tartiflette is ideally accompanied by white wines originating from the Savoy region, which are characterized by a sharp acidity that balances the dish’s richness. Some favored options encompass Apremont, Chignin, or Roussette de Savoie. However, if you have a preference for another wine type or cannot locate a Savoy wine, a dry and acidic white wine, such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, can also be a suitable choice.
In recent times, tartiflette has garnered global acclaim, with numerous ski resorts and Alpine-inspired restaurants around the world presenting their own interpretation of this classic dish. The fusion of potatoes, cheese, and bacon renders it a universally appealing comfort food, perfect for warming up on a frosty winter’s day or indulging in after an energetic day spent outdoors.Print
Tartiflette – The Alpine Potato Gratin
- Author: Kalle Bergman
The fusion of potatoes, cheese, and bacon renders it a universally appealing comfort food, perfect for warming up on a frosty winter’s day or indulging in after an energetic day spent outdoors.
- 2.5 lbs floury potatoes such as Yukon Gold, very finely sliced
- 0.5 lbs unsmoked free-range bacon lardons, finely chopped
- Knob of butter
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3/4 lbs Reblochon cheese cut into long strips
- 1/2 quart heavy cream
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- Charcuterie, pickles and green salad to serve
- Drop the sliced potatoes into a large pan of boiling water, cook for 3 minutes, then drain and spread out on kitchen paper. Allow to steam dry until cool enough to handle.
- Set a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the bacon lardons, tossing, until crisp. Remove and drain on kitchen paper, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the butter and turn the heat down to low. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened and light golden, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Kill the heat and stir in the lardons.
- Heat the oven to 340F. Arrange a generous layer of potatoes in a 2 litre gratin dish. Scatter over some of the bacon and onion mixture, then lay some cheese slices over the top. Pour over some of the cream and wine, season well with black pepper and a little salt, then repeat the layers until everything is used up. Don’t worry if the mixture isn’t completely even on each layer, but you should end up with a top layer of potatoes covered with cream. Sprinkle with a little sea salt.
- Cook the Tartiflette for 1 hour 20-30 minutes until golden and crisp on top with the cream bubbling through. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with charcuterie, pickles and a dressed green salad.
Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking and PAIR Magazine. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.