Tartiflette is a French dish from the Savoy region. It originated in the valley of Aravis, home of reblochon cheese. It is not, however, a traditional dish and was, in fact, invented and launched only in the 1980s by the Reblochon trade union in an attempt to increase sales of the cheese. Different valleys in the region have different methods of producing tartiflette and there is probably more than one recipe per village. All recipes have potatoes, cheese, and some kind of meat such as slab bacon or salt pork. One example of a recipe is shown below.
- 1-3/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (5 or 6 medium-sized ones, all the same size) or waxy boiling potatoes (Cara also work)
- 5 or 6 ounces slab bacon, or salt pork, cut into lardons about 1" x 1/4" by 1/4"
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion (about 6 ounces, peeled), finely chopped
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- Salt and pepper to taste, probably at least 1/2 teaspoon salt, possibly more
- 1/2 of a 1-pound reblochon cheese
- Use potatoes that are all the same size so that they will cook evenly. Boil them in their skins for exactly 20 minutes, until they’re just beginning to get tender. Do not overcook! Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
- While still warm, peel the potatoes with your fingers, then use a large, very sharp knife to cut them into slices about 1/3-inch thick. Then cut the slices into rough cubes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, slice the slab bacon or salt pork into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Then cut into lardons about 1/4-inch across.
- Melt the butter in a large sauté pan, then cook the lardons over medium-high heat until crisp and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Cook the onions in the bacon fat over medium heat, stirring often, until wilted and slightly golden. Drain in a strainer, pressing with a spoon to remove as much fat as possible, and leave them there.
- Pour off the fat in the pan, return the bacon and onions, and add the wine. Cook over high heat until the wine is nearly evaporated.
- Add the diced potatoes and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly until all the ingredients are well mixed together.
- Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Try using a little more salt than you might think is necessary, at least 1/2 teaspoon. Stir all the ingredients together for a minute.
- Lightly butter the inside of an 10- or 11-inch earthenware baking dish. Add the potato mixture and smooth the surface.
- Cut the Reblochon in two down across the top so that you have two pieces in the shape of a half-moon. Put one of the pieces away for another use. Use a sharp knife to lightly score the crust of the remaining half-cheese about every inch, including its side. Then carefully slice horizontally through its center so that you now have two half-moon pieces.
- Place the two pieces of cheese crust-side-up on top of the potatoes so that they form a circular cheese again. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove the foil and stir the cheese, including the crust, into the potatoes, mixing well.
- Place 5 or 6 inches under the broiler and cook until golden brown on top.