There are all sorts of slight variations on this simple Savoyarde speciality. When I used to get dragged on ski holidays this was one of the highlights for me, washed down with the wonderfully cheap, vinegary ski holiday red wine that somehow becomes addictive and necessary as a form of anaesthesia for the scared and useless skier! As I recently had some of our delicious, perfectly ripe Perl Wen brie knocking about in our fridge as well as a huge hunk of our pancetta, a little leftover cream and some sad old King Edward potatoes, it seemed to shout tartiflette to me at least. Served with some cherry tomatoes, olive oil, sea salt and basil it makes a divine lunch dish. As they say, proof is in the pudding and I’ve just had to wrestle away the dish from Neale who was diving in for thirds! You can replace the pancetta with any of our bacon, but don’t be tempted to use inferior bacon pumped full of water as it will leak out during cooking and dilute the richness of the dish.
Some variations on this dish include using white wine, chicory, celeriac, herbs, garlic, various other sorts of cheeses etc. but I like it as follows.
- 750g potatoes (such as King Edwards, Desiree, Maris Piper) peeled and thickly sliced
- 200g pancetta, diced 1cm cubes
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 400g Perl Wen Brie, derinded and sliced
- 300ml double cream
- salt and pepper
- Step 1 Par boil the potato slices in boiling, salted water for about 5-10 mins, then drain in a colander and refresh with cold water.
- Step 2 Saute the pancetta in the olive oil until crisp and golden. Add the onions and cook for about 10 mins until the onions are soft.
- Step 3 Butter a gratin dish and arrange layers of potato, onion, pancetta and cheese, seasoning as you go but don’t add too much salt.
- Step 4 Pour the cream over and bake for 40 mins at 190′C/ fan 170′C until the top is golden and bubbling.
If all this talk of skiing and melty cheese has put you in the mood fro comfort food, check out my recipe for Oven-Baked Vacherin Mond d’Or.