Recipe of the Month: Tartiflette
This is another recipe from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, but from the lower altitudes of Savoie and Haute-Savoie. Savoyard and Haute-Savoyard cooking feature simple, hearty dishes that stand out with ingredients infused with the special flavors and scents of the plains and mountains.
Savoyard cuisine has been influenced by the Italians, resulting in two types of local pasta (crozet and taillerin) and the use of polenta. Potatoes, Savoyard cheeses and meats (such as diot, a type of sausage) are essential to popular dishes found on every table in the region.
Tartiflette, a dish of sliced potatoes and lardons baked in the oven with cheese, is one that has universal qualities and is very simple to make. It is particularly well suited to current temperatures and children always seem to love it.
The prairies and the alpine pastures of Savoie and Haute-Savoie are home to seven fantastic cheeses bearing the French AOC and IGP quality labels that indicate local and region-specific production: Abondance, Beaufort, Chevrotin, Emmental de Savoie, Reblochon, Tomme des Bauges and Tomme de Savoie.
Our recipe calls specifically for Reblochon. Created in the 13th century in the town of Thônes, Reblochon is made from milk from cows grazing in the surrounding Aravis massif.
There are two theories to the origins to the name given to Reblochon. Either it takes its name from the Savoyard word "re-blocher" which, in the 16th century, meant to "milk a second time." Or it takes its name from a word from the same period, "reblasse," which designated the practice of local farmers who would milk the abbey’s cows for the monks and then surreptitiously milk the abbey’s cows for themselves.
- 2 lbs potatoes, peeled
- 1/4 lb lardon, or diced slab bacon (unsmoked or smoked)
- 2 medium-sized onions
- 1 Reblochon des Aravis
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbs olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oven to 375F.
- Dice the potatoes.
- Mince the onions.
- In a hot pan, add the olive oil. Sauté the minced onions until they become translucent.
- Add the diced potatoes and lardons. Cook until the potatoes are done.
- Add the heavy cream to the pan.
- Lightly scrape the soft rind of the Reblochon to expose the orange color. Using a sharp knife, cut the Reblochon transversally into two halves.
- Transfer the potato-lardon-cream mixture into your favorite baking dish. Place the two Reblochon halves on the potatoes, rind-side up.
- Bake for 25 minutes until golden.
I’d like to end this recipe with a quote from Theodore Zeldin, and wish you all a bon appétit. Until next time!
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Chef de cuisine