Tartiflette is my current favourite winter potato dish. It is made with potato, onion, bacon and cheese gratin, perfect for wintry Sunday lunches. According to Julia Child there are hundreds of French potato recipes and Larousse Gastronomique lists 9 pages of potato dishes! This one is very special.
I found this recipe, below, on the cheese wrapping of a tartiflette cheese I bought recently whilst in France. The cheese is a washed rind, rich and very creamy cheese. The dish hails from the Auvergne and the Jura Mountain regions of France. It is hearty food to enjoy after working a long, hard day outside, or in our cold winter months.
I first had a tartiflette, served with a green salad, in a quaint little restaurant in the mountains of the Auvergne, when I was travelling there with my daughter, Yolanda, in 2011, on our way to my La Combe en Périgord culinary week.
Last August, I discovered it again, when I was on tour with IFWTWA learning about the joys of organic milk. Mattheiu Megard, a Frenchman from the Haute Savoie in south east France, in the Jura mountains and the owner of L’Artisan Cheese Timboon and the Mouse Trap café at Port Campbell, makes organic French style cheese and his Mountain Man cheese is perfect for the tartiflette, and it is the cheese I use for this dish.
When making his cheeses, Mattheiu uses only organic milk, mostly from John Smith’s organic dairy, nearby. He is a Frenchman from the Haute Savoie in south east France, in the Jura mountains. He purchased the old Timboon Cheese factory about 2 years ago.
Our visit was comprehensive with Mattheiu giving details on the various cheese making processes, whilst we watched his cheese-makers making the cheese. The visit concluded with lunch of – yes – of course – cheese! In their Mousetrap restaurant at Timboon their signature dish is the tartiflette, which we all enjoyed with a salad for our lunch. It was sensational and perfect on that cold, wintry, wet day too.
Here I have included the Tartiflette recipe from the French tartiflette cheese I purchased in France. For Mattheiu’s Megards’ recipe Tartiflette, made with his Mountain Man cheese go to his website.
Serves 4 – 6
1kg potatoes, with the skins left on
1 large white onion, finely chopped
200g bacon or lardons
250ml white wine
Tartiflette cheese, cut into 2 horizontally through the centre. I used Mattheiu’s Mountain Man tartiflette cheese which is available from good delicatessans. Also check his website for locations.
Preheat the oven to 210°C.
Cook the potatoes and cut into thin slices. In a large frying pan, sauté the onions in some olive oil for 5 minutes until translucent, add the sliced potatoes and the bacon; cook until they are golden.
Add the white wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
Spread the potato, onion and bacon mixture in a gratin dish and cover with the tariflette cheese.
Cover with baking paper and aluminium foil and cook for 30 minutes in the 210°C oven.
Serve hot with crusty French baguettes and crisp green salad.