Tartiflette my way (or potato gratin, if you wish)

tartifletteExcept for yoga, the odd run, and my love for walking and the cross trainer, I’ve never been very athletic. In fact, I dreaded gym classes in high school as much as I dreaded math. Running and general fitness, I was OK with. As long as it didn’t involve a whole lot of coordination or competitive sports. I still have nightmares about playing American football with BOYS — thank heavens I went to an all-girls school as of my sophmore year! That’s probably the reason you won’t see me headed for a ski vacation any time soon. I prefer to spend my winter break drinking wine by the fireplace in the French countryside. This, unfortunately, means I’ve missed out on ever having tasted an authentic tartiflette, a dish from the Savoie popular with the skiing/snowboarding crowds and served at restaurants around the slopes.

A serving of the dish alone probably consists of your daily caloric intake. It calls for potatoes, onions, lardons, white wine, crème fraîche and a whole Reblochon cheese. I can feel my arteries clogging just by typing this. It ain’t food for wussies, that’s for sure. Still, I really wanted to make something similar, albeit less substantial.
I replaced the Reblochon with a mere 80 grams of aged Dutch Gouda and even added some extra vegetables. I know these tweaks may make some toes curl, but by no means am I claiming this to be an authentic tartiflette. Call it a potato gratin if you wish. What I can promise you is that it’s ridiculously good with a green salad and a chilled glass of white wine. Snow is optional. Plate licking allowed.

Tartiflette my way (or potato gratin, if you wish)
Serves 3-4

  • 750g ratte potatoes
  • 200g lardons
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 small onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 80g shredded aged Gouda
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • freshly-cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C and butter a 27 x 20cm oval dish. Peel the potatoes and boil them until half cooked. In the meantime, fry your lardons in a dry frying pan (in their own fat). Add in the rest of the vegetables and the thyme after about 5 minutes and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Drain your potatoes and cut them into medium slices.To assemble the dish, place half of the lardons & veg mix into the dish, top with a layer of potatoes and a layer of cheese, and repeat so that you end with cheese. Pour the wine over the dish, top with the crème fraîche and finish with a grating of pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked and the dish is bubbling. Serve with a green salad.



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