Friday, July 17, 2009

Tartiflette

Serves 4-6

Dishes of sliced waxy potatoes baked with cheese are popular all across Europe, and region to region shows off the best of their local produce in recreations of one similar dish. Reblochon and Tomme are two such cheeses perfect for this from the Haute Savoie area of France, and, despite their slightly musty aroma, the taste once melted into a hot potato dish makes for a delicious comfort dish for a cooler evening at home. Serve with a perfectly dressed green salad, gherkins or pickles and cold sliced charcuterie.

1kg waxy potatoes, Desiree are perfect, peeled
500ml milk
1 large white onion, sliced
200g chopped smoked streaky bacon
a good knob of butter
1 whole reblochon or Tomme de Savoie, about 500g
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slice the potatoes to 1cm thick then boil gently in the milk with some seasoning until just tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion with the bacon in the butter until the onions are softened and the bacon is crisp.

Slice the cheese as thinly as possible. You can cut off the rind if you want or at least trim the sides, but it is not really that necessary.

Drain the potatoes, saving the milk, and layer in a shallow ovenproof dish with the sliced reblochon and sautéed onion and bacon, trickling the saved milk in between and adding seasoning to taste.

Heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4, and bake the dish until bubbling and golden brown. Leave to stand for 10 minutes to cool down a little.