Strange IndiaStrange India

A bowl of mac and cheese can simply say, “I love you,” but sometimes you are looking for a more eloquent, impressive form of culinary expression. This is where tartiflette comes in. It’s another cheese-coated carb, but with a tad more sophistication—it’s French, after all. To truly impress your dining partner (or satisfy yourself), make this luscious potato dish that’s all hugs, kisses, and a whole wheel of cheese.

What is tartiflette? 

Originating from the Savoy region in the western Alps of France, tartiflette is a hearty dish made from potatoes, lardons, onions, and reblochon cheese. Most of those ingredients probably sound familiar—lardon is basically a fancy way of describing a slab of bacon cut into matchstocks—but reblochon might be new to you (it was to me). Reblochon is a soft, washed-rind raw cow’s milk cheese that we can’t get in the U.S. on account of the raw, unpasteurized factor. While some cheese makers out offer pasteurized versions in the likeness of reblochon, but they’re not exactly cheap. 

If reblochon isn’t available near you for a price affordable enough that you’re willing to melt it over some potatoes, you can substitute any good melting cheese (or try to make your own). If you don’t like a bloomy rind, try port salut, havarti, or gouda. If you want to get closer to the reblochon experience, then I suggest a cheese with a rind; try camembert, brie, saint-andre cheese, or le délice de bourgogne.

If none of those vibe with you, just make yourself happy and use any melty cheese you like. I used brie, because it’s easy to get in my local grocery store, and Président brand makes a rather ridiculous “coeur de brie” (heart of brie) for Valentine’s Day, and I couldn’t resist buying it.

How to make an easy tartiflette

Potatoes, a shallot, and a package of brie on a table.

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

1. Boil the potatoes

Like all comfort foods should be, tartiflette is actually fairly simple. To start, boil some lightly salted water in a big pot. Add peeled potatoes and boil them until they’re fork-tender. If the potatoes are large, cut them in half first. I used russet potatoes, but you can use any of the colorful ones too—red, white, or yellow. (In retrospect, I should have used a waxier potato, because russets don’t hold up as well to boiling quite, but they were still lovely.) Drain the potatoes, and chop them into half-inch thick slices when cool.

2. Fry up the other ingredients

While your potatoes are boiling away, fry the lardons in a frying pan. If you don’t have lardons, you can use pancetta, or chopped thick-cut bacon. Fry them until they’re browned and crispy on the edges. Remove the meat but leave the rendered fat in the pan. Fry some chopped shallots and garlic in the pork fat until they’re soft and translucent. I like to season onions when I fry them separately, so sprinkle on a pinch of salt while you’re at it. If your garlic and onions have left any fond behind (the crispy brown bits stuck to the pan), deglaze the pan with a tablespoon or two of white wine, vermouth, or even water. Don’t waste that flavor.

3. Combine the ingredients 

Put the cut potatoes in a large bowl. Dump in the crisped pork and scrape in the onions, garlic, and remaining fat from the frying pan. (If you used bacon, this might be too much fat. Around a tablespoon or less is just fine, but if there’s more than that, save it for another purpose.) Toss the ingredients so they’re well dispersed and pour everything into a buttered baking dish or a cast iron skillet. 

4. Cheese and bake

Close-up potatoes and cheese in a dish.

Credit: Allie Chanthorn Reinmann

Now for my favorite part: the cheese. Cut your wheel (or heart) of cheese in half equatorially. You’re looking to make two circles with an exposed inside and an intact ring of rind. Leave one as-is. Chop the other one up into half-inch chunks. Dot the potato dish with hunks of cheese. Give it all a light sprinkle of salt, then press the other half of the cheese into the center, rind-side up. Drizzle some heavy cream all around the pan. Admire its beauty, then bake it in a 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the top-most ingredients are lightly browned.

Tartiflette is what I’ll call “self-saucing.” The cream, melted cheese, oils, and fond from the frying pan all combine at the bottom of the pan and bubble into a savory, glistening cheese sauce. Each tender potato is coated with cheese, and occasionally you’ll encounter a crispy, salty bite of pork. It’s truly a cheese lover’s dish.

This recipe below is a tartiflette for two, but you can easily double it to serve four. 

Tartiflette Recipe for Two


  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered (use russets, yukon golds, or white potatoes)

  • 4 ounces thick cut bacon, chopped (or lardons)

  • 1 large shallot, sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • ⅓ cup heavy cream

  • 1 wheel of brie (6-8 ounces)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and butter a medium-sized casserole dish (or use a cast iron skillet). Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until fork-tender. Drain them and cut them into ½-inch thick slices. Set them aside in a large bowl.

2. In a medium frying pan, fry the bacon until crispy on the outside. Remove the bacon and put them into the bowl with the potatoes, but leave the rendered fat in the pan. Gently fry the shallot and garlic in the pan with a pinch of salt. Fry them until they’ve softened and are translucent. 

3. Dump the garlic and shallots into the potato bowl with up to a tablespoon of the rendered fat from the pan. Toss the ingredients to combine them.

4. Pour the potato mixture into the baking vessel. Cut the wheel of brie in half, equatorially so you have two circles of cheese. Cut one up into ½-inch chunks and nestle them evenly amongst the potatoes. Sprinkle the entire surface with a couple pinches of salt and a few cracks of pepper. Press the remaining circle of cheese into the center of the dish, rind-side up. Drizzle the cream all over the ingredients. Bake the tartiflette for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the tops of the ingredients are lightly browning. Let it cool for a couple minutes before serving.

Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *