A wonderfully warming potato gratin from the heart of the French Alps, tartiflette is best served with a simple green salad to cut through all that cheese, and perhaps a glass of well-chilled Savoie white wine.
Serves: 6 Takes: 1 hr
1.3kg waxy potatoes
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced thinly
200g smoked bacon lardons (optional)
150ml dry white wine
200ml whipping cream
1 reblochon cheese (about 500g)
1 garlic clove
1 Parboil the potatoes in well-salted water, leaving the skins on. Drain well and leave to cool.
2 Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion with the lardons, if using, until the onion is soft and both are starting to brown. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Take off the heat and stir in the cream.
3 Heat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Cut the potatoes into cubes about 1cm square. Heat the remaining butter in a fresh frying pan if you have one (or decant the onion mixture and use that pan) and sauté until golden. Cut the cheese in half horizontally.
4 Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut side over an ovenproof dish, then cover the base with half the potatoes. Spoon over half the onion and bacon mixture and season well. Top with half the cheese then repeat the layers, with the remaining cheese half rind-side up.
5 Bake the tartiflette for 15 mins until golden and bubbling. If you want it really crisp, you can finish it off under a hot grill.
Read more about the tartiflette in the National Geographic Traveller Food Issue 3 cover story.