Monday, 24 March 2008

Tartiflette Time

Back at the beginning of the month I asked a question about using up stored potatoes that were beginning to sprout and mentioned Tartiflette. Well today (Easter Monday) was Tartiflette day. The late post is due to no Internet connection until now (27th). The Internet limped through to 3pm and then gave up the ghost completely.

I’m not too good with recipes and tend to make it up as I go along. If I had worked out the recipe for this one it would have started with ‘take one 5 litre bucket of potatoes’. So basically it is to taste and quantities to fill the baking dish.

First up are the potatoes. These are more or less the last of my ‘Charlotte’ potatoes I grew last year. Why did I grow them? They were all that was left when I went to the shop and the poor things were almost wizened to nothing before I got them into the soil. I was amazed that I got anything from them, but I did, and they have stored well, hold together nicely and taste good when cooked.

So first up, peel and cook potatoes until they are just cooked but not falling apart.

While they are cooking – I had to do mine in two batches as my large pan was being used for something else, I prepared the lardons from the bacon I’d home cured. I cut the bacon into small pieces for two main reasons, firstly to allow the fat to be released and secondly because even though I reduced the curing time I still find the bacon rather salty. This doesn’t matter too much when mixed into the potatoes.

Once the potatoes are done, drain them and then cook the lardons slowly until they have released their fat and are just crisping. Peel and slice the onions thinly and if liked, chop up some garlic.

Then add the sliced onions and garlic if used and gently cook until soft.

While the onions are cooking, slice half the potatoes and place them in a greased baking dish.

Once the onions are well softened, layer half the onion and lardon mixture over the potatoes and pour over some cream. I used UHT cream from my store cupboard this time but I quite often use crème fraiche as I usually have that in the fridge.

Slice the remaining potatoes and place on top, followed by the remaining onion and lardon mix. Then dot the surface with the cheese. The best description of the Tartiflette cheese is a cross between Brie and Camembert. It’s not particularly strong so I quite often add a layer of Emmental too, I’m far too miserly to use any of my more tasty (and more expensive) cheese, usually aged Comté. Then bake until it’s hot through and the cheese has melted and started to brown.

It’s peasant food but it is wonderful on cold evenings along with a glass of red wine.

1 comment:

Ciara said...

I lived in France for a year when I was in college & I used to LOVE tartiflette. Being Irish the whole potato thing suited me down to the ground. I must try & make it again, yum yum although have tried it a few times since but its never quite the same as when I was in France, wonder why? Maybe the cheese is better? hhuuummmmm.
Anyway hope you enjoyed.