Tartiflette is a dish from the Haute Savoie region of France made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions. All the ingredients are baked into an earthenware dish with the cheese disk simply sliced in two and topped on the potatoes. After a bit of the time in the oven the cheese crisps up and melts into the dish, coating every single element with a layer of gooey cheese. It is absolutely decadent!
Ever since I tried it for the first time in the region itself I have never been able to get it out of my mind and I often need a fix. But on a warm summer night, it’s not really ideal. This is the kind of recipe that needs to be enjoyed when the snow storm keeps you lock indoors and a nice wood fire is keeping you warm.
So, I’ve decided to use these wonderful flavors in a lighter, less wintry meal. Savory cakes, like muffins, are great canvas for aromas and they are as good cool or warm, making the ideal take-to-work lunches for the week.
Start by chopping the onion into cubes. Peel and squash the garlic, this will release its oil and perfume the dish without overpowering it. Slice the bacon in strips. If you have frozen bacon don’t bother thawing it, it will be easier to chop that way and will thaw quickly directly in the pan.
Put a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once hot fry the onion, the garlic, the bacon and the bay leaf for about 5 minutes, stirring once in a while, until the bacon is brown and the onions are getting a nice colour.
While the onion and bacon mix cooks wash and grate the potatoes coarsely. Leaving their skins on not only saves time and mess but it will add flavor and nutriments. And since we are grating them, it won’t affect the texture at all.
Gently squeeze the grated potatoes to get some of the water out and add to the frying pan. Cook for a minute to dry them out. Turn the heat off, season with a bit of salt, the bacon is already quite salty, and plenty of black pepper. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.
-Step 6 and 7-
In a small bowl, mix the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt and pepper and, in another small bowl, whisk the milk with the egg and season.
Take the cheese out of the fridge and cut it into small cubes. Keep all aside.
Once the potato mix has cooled down stir in the flour until evenly distributed and follow with the milky mix. It’s important not to over mix the preparation. This could result in a dry and hard cake as opposed to fluffy and moist. Gently fold in the cheese and keep aside.
Line a small loaf tin with parchment paper. This will tremendously help with the unmolding later on. I have had cake stocked in the tins too often to skip this step anymore. Pour in the mixture in the lined dish and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving and enjoy.
- 1/2 Onion
- 1 Garlic clove
- 100g Smoke bacon, about 5 rashers
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Bay leaf
- 250g Waxy Potatoes
- 120g (3/4 cup) Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
- 1 Egg
- 60ml (1/4 cup) Milk
- 125g Reblochon cheese
- Turn oven on to 180C/375F.
- Start by chopping the onion, squashing the garlic and slicing the bacon in strips.
- Put a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once hot fry the onion, garlic and bacon with the bay leaf for about 5 minutes, until the bacon is brown and the onions have started changing colour.
- While this cooks, wash and grate the potatoes, leaving their skins one for flavor and nutriments. Gently squeeze some of the water out.
- Add the potatoes to the pan and cook for a minute to dry them out. Turn the heat off, season with a bit of salt and plenty of black pepper and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile prepare the other preparations. In a small bowl, mix the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt and pepper and, in another small bowl, whisk the milk with the egg and season. Keep aside.
- Take the cheese out of the fridge and cut it into small cubes, keep aside.
- Once the potato mix has cooled down stir in the flour until evenly distributed. It shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds. Follow with the milky mix and gently fold in the cheese.
- Line a small, 19x9x6,5cm (7½” x 3½” x 2½”), loaf tin with parchment paper and pour in the mixture.
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes before unmolding and serve with some crunchy asparagus.
- You want to serve the cake with a sharp, light side. It’s quite a rich dish and asparagus, spinach or a vibrant garlicky salad will balance it off nicely.
- Feel free to use lardon instead of bacon, but I chose to go for the later as it’s easier to find and I always have some in the freezer.
- If you can’t find Reblochon you can replace it with Brie. It will give you a similar gooey effect with a much lighter taste.
- Keeping the cheese in the fridge until the last minute will make the cutting a lot easier. If the cheese is to hot it will start melting and the pieces will stick to each other