The French just love traditional dishes made of melted creamy cheese with potatoes and deli meat. Among those, tartiflette is the perfect meal in winter! Called gratin in French, it’s made of potatoes, reblochon cheese and bacon.
Please don’t run away when you’ll read the ingredients of this recipe: cheese, potatoes, onions, bacon and white wine. I also have healthy recipes in the blog! But it’s winter, and we do, in France, love to eat melted cheese dishes when it’s cold or snowing outside, or after a nice day skiing.
I’m often asked for the original and traditional recipe of Reblochon cheese tartiflette but’s it’s actually quite a recent dish.
The story behind Tartiflette recipe
I was raised in the French Alps some time ago and this dish wasn’t popular yet as it have been invented in the 1980s by Reblochon producers organization who were searching for a new way of promoting their products. At that time we actually had traditions of cooking together potatoes, onion and bacon in a pan called the “pela”. There was also a dish called the “croute” (literally “crust”) accommodating leftovers of ham and cheese with white wine over stale bread. Home cooks in the Alps, as my mom use to do, served raclette by melting raclette cheese in the oven over potatoes in a baking dish, just the way we now prepare tartiflette. The name tartiflette comes from the local name for potatoes “tartifla”.
The ideal amount of cheese is of 1 Reblochon wheel for 4 serves, but if you’re afraid of getting a very rich dish, just have 1 wheel for 6, as in the below recipe. Please, never ever add cream as I can see in some recipes! If you want the tartiflette to be really creamy, choose a high quality cheese or increase the quantity of Reblochon.
Tartiflette, French Apls Reblochon Cheese Casserole
- 1.2 kg potatoes peeled, cut into cubes or chunk
- 1 whole Reblochon cheese wheel or 1 ½ if you like the dish very creamy
- 400 gr bacon diced
- 2 large onions diced
- 120 ml dry white wine (optional) ½ cup
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- NO CREAM !!
FIRST READ THE MAIN STEPS OF THE RECIPE
- Cook onions, potatoes and bacon in a frying pan. Place in a baking dish, cover with cheese, and bake. That’s it.
- Start by preparing all ingredients. Peel and dice onions. Peel potatoes. Throw them in a bowl with cold water as you go. Dry potatoes and cut them into small cubes or chunk (the smallest pieces are, the quickest the cooking time will be).
- In a frying pan or a skillet, heat neutral oil (such as peanut oil, not olive oil as it is too strong in taste). Throw in onions and let them fry for 5 min, adding salt (this way vegetation water will evade from onions and they won’t burn). Pour in potatoes. At first brown them (adding fat if necessary) and cover until almost cook. The cooking time depends on the size of cubes or chunks, roughly 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 190 °C. Cut cheese into 4 equal parts then each piece into 2 in thickness.
- At the very end of the potatoes cooking process, add bacon and white wine (optional). Stir and immediately pour into a baking dish. Arrange over the pieces of Reblochon cheese, cut side against potatoes, crust on top (as pictured below).
- Bake for about 15minutes until cheese melts. Make sure to remove from the oven when cheese becomes nicely melted and runny. Heated too long cheese will split, to reveal only its fat and lose its delicious creamy texture.