Tartiflette. This recipe is inspired by our ski trips to France, where we always have a ‘cheese meal.’ This particular gooey cheese dish is common fare in Alpine ski towns and a great meal to have after a day on the slopes. Or in my case, when our heat stopped working for a few days.
Tartiflette can come out of the oven and sit a little bit before serving; making this ‘ski chalet’ classic the most accessible to the home cook. And while the rustic style of the dish conjures up images of centuries past; it is actually a recent innovation. In the 1980s Reblochon cheese producers developed Tartiflette as a way to boost sales of their cheese (well played cheesemongers!). Equally capitalistic is the sale of special ‘tartiflette’ pans in ski towns. It’s just a casserole/lasagna dish (though they do write the recipe on it). My skillet is oven safe, and I didn’t feel like doing extra washing; but if your’s isn’t, or you’re making a large batch, transfer the potato mixture to a greased pan before adding the cheese and putting it in the oven.
I don’t lose any sleep by varying the ‘classic’ recipe by using ham instead of smoked bacon (since that is what I had in the fridge). But feel free to put the bacon back into the recipe (or leave out the meat if you are looking for a vegetarian option). If you can’t find, or don’t like Reblochon; Brie or Camembert are good substitutes. When I took the Reblochon out of the fridge there was a ‘funky’ cheese smell to it, but I didn’t find the taste to be that way. It is like a tangy Brie, without that ‘blue cheesey-ness’ of Camembert.
When the cheese melts it forms a fondue like sauce with the liquid from the wine and cream. Serve with a lightly dressed salad to cut the richness. (I think that is why pickled onions and gherkins are traditionally served with tartiflette, but salad does a better job in my opinion.)
Here is what you will need:
Boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes. Drain. Let cool.
Melt butter. Chop and saute onions for about 8 minutes.
Half or quarter potatoes depending on their size. Add to the pan and slightly brown.
Add white wine and boil for 5 minutes. Then add cream and toss to coat.
Cut the cheese along the ‘equator’ and then into triangles. Place on top of potato mixture.
Place in the oven and broil for 5-10 minutes.
Recipe serves 4
- 2 lb (900 g) new potatoes
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 4 oz (250 g) of ham
- 1/2 cup (100 mL) white wine
- 1/2 cup (100 mL) heavy cream
- 1 lb (400 g) Reblochon cheese
- gherkins & pickled onions to serve
- Wash and boil new potatoes with the skins on. Set aside until cool to handle.
- In an oven safe non-stick pan heat oil on medium-high. Chop onion and saute until translucent. Add ham to the pan and saute 3 more minutes
- Halve or quarter new potatoes depending on size. Add to pan and lightly brown for about 5 minutes.
- Add white wine and boil for 5 minutes. Then add cream, stir & heat until the potatoes are evenly coated. [If you don’t have an oven safe non-stick pan, transfer the mixture to a greased casserole dish at this point.]
- Cut Reblochon cheese along the equator and then into triangles. Place on top of the potatoes and broil for 5-10 minutes.