Back this month on the menu at La Petite Bouchée is alpine classic Tartiflette. One of the things of I love about this rich, rib-sticking dish is its simplicity, A few ingredients go along way and although it doesn’t look much, it sure tastes good and most importantly our guests love it. I think we lost count of how many trays of Tartiflette we served last year, we seemed to be constantly peeling potatoes and sautéing smoked lardons, we didn't mind because it's such a crowd pleaser and never fails to deliver.
So what is Tartiflette?
A French dish from the Savoie and Haute Savoie region of France. There are only a few ingredients in this dish: Potatoes, Reblochon cheese, smoked lardons and onions. The word Tartiflette comes from the Arpitan word for potato, tartiflâ. ” This really quite modern recipe was inspired by a more traditional dish “péla”: a gratin of potatoes, onions and cheese made in a long-handled pan called a pelagic which is rather reminiscent of shovel !
This more modern version of Péla was developed as a dish in the 1980s to try and increase sales of Reblochon and unsurprisingly, it became an instant hit. Tartiflette is now the single most popular dish in Haute savoie. Once considered a peasant dish, Tartiflette now elevated in stature to a much-loved classic dish, scoffed in ski resorts, alpine restaurants and of course La Petite Bouchée
We serve two versions of Tartiflette at La Petite Bouchée, traditional and vegetarian. Here is our traditional version.
A large knob of butter for greasing the baking dish
1 whole Reblochon, sliced
6 large baking potatoes, sliced thinly
3 shallots, finely sliced
300 g of smoked lardons
1 glass of vermouth/dry white wine
A small pinch of fines herbes
A pinch of salt
Preheat the oven 200 degrees/gas mark 6.
Peel and slice the potatoes then add them to a pan of boiling salted water and cook until just under al dente.
Once cooked, remove and place on a baking tray to cool whilst preparing the rest of the meal.
In a heavy based frying pan melt half the butter, then add the lardons, shallots and golden fines herbes and fry until the shallots are softened and the lardons are browned.
Next add the vermouth or dry white wine and reduce until it is absorbed into the mixture. We're now ready to put the dish together.
With the remaining butter grease either a glass or a ceramic baking dish and add a layer of potatoes, followed by the lardon and shallot mixture, then a layer of Reblochon slices.
Repeat this process until you end up with a final layer of cheese on the top.
Place in the oven for 40 minutes until it is browned and bubbling.
Once removed and leave it to rest for a few minutes, serve and watch your guests faces as they look like they are in heaven.
There are two wines on our list that are perfect with this dish:
Mondeuse Cuvée Tradition AOC Bugey Savoie (red)
Vin de Savoie de Ripaille AOC 2013 (white)