This is probably one of the most popular dishes in the Savoie and Haute Savoie departments. The main ingredient is Reblochon cheese as described in a previous post.
The word tartiflette is based on the local word tartifle meaning potatoes and it is hard to go into a restaurant in this region and not find a variation of this dish on the menu. On a menu, tartiflette can also go by the name Pela, which was the original name for this dish and was a gratin of potatoes, onions and cheese; the word pela being derived from the long handled pan in which it was made called a pelagic. This dish in it’s modern day form was made popular and promoted in the 1980s by Le Syndicat Interprofessionnel du Reblochonto increase the sales of Reblochon cheese in the region. Tartiflette was mentioned for the first time, I believe in a book from 1705. Le Cuisinier royal et bourgeois written by François Massialot and his assistant cook B Mathieu. The visitors to the Savoie regions first heard of the tartiflette when it started appearing on menus in the mountains and at the ski stations, thus conveying an image of ‘comfort food’ and a warm friendly authenticity.
Patates Reblochon, Chez Nanon, Les Gets
Lobster tartiflette the signature dish at Le Grand Ourse, Mont Chery
Tartiflette, Le R’mize, Les Gets
The ingredients of what is considered a traditional tartiflette would be potatoes, bacon lardons, onions and Reblochon. I have had tartiflette here with wild mushrooms added, seafood and lobster, confit de canard (duck) and a tartiflette where the Reblochon has been replaced with goats cheese called a tarti-chevre, made with a local goats cheese called Chevrotin. Another variation that I have seen frequently on menus is the ‘Croziflette’ made with the local Savoie pasta Crozets as described in a previous post. Here is a recipe for a Tartiflette for 4 people – which is a combination of several recipes that I have found 1 kg Potatoes 1 whole reblochon 200g bacon lardons 1 onion 200ml of creme fraiche
splash of milk
Peel the potatoes and cut them into evenly sized pieces.
Cook the bacon lardons, no need for any oil as they make enough of their own, then add the onions and soften but don’t brown.
Then add the potatoes, cream, milk and season.
Bring the mixture to the boil and allow to simmer for around 5 minutes, until the potatoes soften.
Now tip everything into a large ovenproof dish.
Cut the reblochon into slices – this can be done in a number of ways and is a matter of choice. Cut the reblochon in half horizontally and then into triangles and place over the top, or cut into slices and arrange on the top.
Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180 or 160 for fan ovens for about 25 – 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender and cooked through.
Variations on a theme…I have made this recipe and added chopped garlic and thyme and sautéed with the bacon and onions. I have also substituted gnocchi for the potatoes, normally tossing them with the bacon and onion sauté mixture having added a large knob of butter.You could add a splash of wine to the bacon onion mixture at stage 2. For vegetarians you can substitute the bacon lardons for a mix of wild mushrooms sautéed in oil and butter with the onions.
Serve with a crunchy green salad, fresh french bread and a crisp dry white Savoie wine like Apremont or Crepy. I will be posting more recipes using Reblochon soon…