Thursday, January 10, 2019

France - Tartiflette

Back in June 2011 I made Cheese Gougères for my French entry and I'm starting off with another cheese based dish.

This recipe calls for a type of cheese I haven't tried before. It's called reblochon and is possibly the worst smelling thing I've ever eaten. I bought it at great expense from The Cheeseboard, a cheese shop in Harrogate.

The smell took me back to when I worked in a chicken farm collecting eggs. I was probably 14 at the time and when I got home my mum wouldn't let me in the house until I took my clothes off. I stank of chicken poo and that's what reblochon smells like to me. When I asked JD to smell it, it reminded him of his pet duck, Henry, who he had about 12 years ago. So, some kind of bird poo at least. Lovely!

Tartiflette is a really old recipe from the Alps in France. Made as far back as 1705. They must have had no sense of smell back then.


1/2 wheel sliced Reblochon
1 lb potatoes
2 onions
1/2 cup white wine
300g lardons
Salt & pepper

Saute the lardons until browned. While they cook you can peel and dice the potatoes.

 Slice the onions and when the lardons are done remove them from the pan. Saute the onions until softened.

When the onions are soft add the lardons back to the pan along with the wine. Saute for 5 more minutes. Drain the potatoes (they should just be starting to get soft) and add them to the pan stirring well.

Put half the potato mixture in an oven-proof dish. Top with half the sliced reblochon. Use the rest of the potato mix to make another layer and then top that with the last of the cheese. Bake in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes until it's bubbling.

The smell from cooking the Tartiflette filled the downstairs so much that Leigh and Erin didn't come down to eat. They complained even more than the time I made Onion Chutney for my Dad. JD and I weren't fazed though. We each ate a portion of the Tartiflette so we could tell you what it was like. It was strangely tasty. It looks like a lovely, cheesy comfort food but as you lift the fork to your mouth you breathe in the smell of the cheese. I enjoyed the texture of the dish, it was creamy with a lovely thick sauce coating the potatoes. The reblochon was too strong to eat very much of this which was a shame. We want to try making it again with another cheese, like gruyere maybe. I've heard people saying that French cheese is smelly but this was my first experience of the realness of that statement!

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