When on holiday in the French Alps, you’re never too far away from the humble tartiflette. A dish truly designed to refuel you, body and soul, after a day in the mountains. It is a crowd pleaser for the whole family and can also be prepared ahead of time. With its minimal ingredients and simple cooking method, it is easy to see why tartiflette is a much loved dish in chalets across the region.
As there are so few ingredients, each item plays a distinctive role in making the perfect tartiflette. Before we dig into my tartiflette recipe let’s take a look at the ingredients.
Originating in the heart of the Massif des Aravis, Reblochon is a semi soft cheese. It has a smooth melting taste with a glorious nutty aftertaste, which it gets from its slightly chewy rind. It is a cheese that the locals around La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand and Manigod are fiercely proud of, so it’s a great opportunity to try it.
When you’re on holiday in the area, it’s definitely worth visiting one of the local farms to see how it is made and buy the cheese direct from the farmer. Why not visit the Hameau des Alpes, in La Clusaz, to buy and learn the history behind this famous cheese.
Use this map to find out where your closest Reblochon producer is.
Take a look at some of the best places to get hold of Reblochon in our destinations:
It is important to use waxy potatoes in this recipe as they will hold their shape and not lose their texture once baked. Think dauphinoise. I like to keep the skins on the potatoes, it adds a depth of flavour and texture to the dish. I am also slightly lazy and peeling potatoes eats into precious skiing time, and why not? It’s a rustic dish after all!
Don’t be tempted to replace the lardons with a thinner or healthier alternative. The thick and juicy salt cured pork is the star of the show. The thickness means that you can cook them off, along with the onions, for a better all round flavour, and they will still hold their own after baking. If you can get your hands on them, buy the smoked variety, which work best with the potatoes and creamy cheese.
My Tartiflette recipe of Choice
There are many different family recipes out there, but this is the Tartiflette recipe I have favoured over the years. It may not be strictly traditional, but neither is the tartiflette. The original recipe for tartiflette in fact only came about in the 1980s from Le Syndicat Interprofessionnel du Reblochon, to help the producers sell more cheese. It is said to be based on the more traditional Savoyarde dish Pela, which has only the reblochon cheese, potatoes and onions.
So here it is, my interpretation of one of the most popular dishes from Haute Savoie.
- 1.3kg waxy potatoes, skin left on
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 150ml dry white wine
- 200ml whipping cream
- 1 reblochon
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- Preheat your oven to 200° or 180° for fan ovens.
- Wash and slice your potatoes into roughly 5mm rounds and parboil them for 10 minutes. Drain and immediately run under cold water for 20 – 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes as they will go mushy after being in the oven.
- While the potatoes are cooking, thinly slice the onions. Put a large frying pan over a low to medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted add your onions to the pan.
- After five minutes, or once the onions have softened, add the smoked lardons along with the thyme.
- Fry the lardons for five minutes on the medium to low heat. Once they are cooked through turn the heat up to high and allow the lardons to catch slightly on the bottom of the pan. This will give them a lovely caramel flavour. Just be sure to keep an eye on them so you don’t burn them.
- Once the lardons have turned a beautiful, deep colour add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to bring out all of that lovely flavour.
Assemble your tartiflette
- Half your garlic clove. Using the cut side, rub the whole of the inside of your tartiflette dish, then discard.
- Start layering the potatoes and lardon & onion mix, starting with the lardons and onions at the bottom. Try to get a few layers into your dish, like layering a lasagne. Make sure to stop about a half centimeter from the top so that it doesn’t all bubble over when cooking.
- Once you have filled the dish remove the Reblochon from the fridge and slice into appropriately sized slices. I tend to use a round dish, so I usually cut the reblochon into thin wedges. However, if you have an oval or rectangle dish you may want to slice the cheese into lengths. You could even slice the reblochon in half and place it rind side up over the potato filling.
- However you slice your cheese, cover the potatoes with it, but make sure not to put it right up to the edge, as this can make it very difficult to clean your dish and it is more likely to bubble over in the oven!
- Season well with salt and pepper and then pour the cream all over the dish.
- Pop into your pre heated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese has turned a lovely light golden colour.
- Serve with a fresh green salad, charcuterie, crunchy cornichons and a lovely chilled glass of Aprémont.
It’s easy to adapt this wonderful dish to be veggie friendly. Simply swap out the lardons for thickly sliced mushrooms and check your seasoning – lardons give off a more salty flavour than mushrooms. Otherwise exactly the same!
Creating a vegan version of a tartiflette is a little more tricky, as it means finding a replacement for the creamy reblochon and chewy top, but don’t let this stop you trying! Swap the butter for olive oil, lardons with mushrooms and replace the cream with a soy cream (readily available at most big supermarkets). The top cheesy layer of the tartiflette is what transforms the dish from a dauphinois side to a scrumptious main course. Why not try covering the top of your “veganflette” with mouthwatering sundried tomatoes and creamy crushed cashews?
To see more great recipes visit our OVO Kitchen page. And if you are still looking for the perfect chalet for your holiday, discover our range of amazing chalets to cook and enjoy tartiflette from at OVO Network.