, , , ,

When I was 18 I went to live in the French Alps for a winter, in particular, I lived in a town called Thones at the base of the Aravis mountains. Luckily enough for me Thones is also where the smelly, silky soft Rebuchon cheese is from.

Whilst I learnt many things that winter, the two which have kept with me most are the joys of eating Tartiflette or Raclette after a long day skiing or Snowboarding. For many years now I’ve made a tartiflette and over the time I’ve developed my own recipe for the dish. It’s slightly different to many you will find on the internet, but it tastes the most authentic to the ones you can eat half way up the front of a piste in La Clusaz.

You will need (serves 4):</strong
1.3 kg of good potatoes (washed), I use anything a bit waxy
1 large Reblochon cheese (350g)
35g salted butter
200g smoked lardons (thick cut smoked bacon will also work)
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped finely
50ml double cream
Splash of good white wine

The Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F You can peel the potatoes if you wish, but I recommend leaving the skins on.

Firstly boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until just tender. Drain, and cool. While the potatoes are cooling, melt the butter in a pan and fry the smoked lardons until they gain some colour.

Next add the onions and garlic and fry until just transparent. Once transparent, add a splash of white wine and season well with pepper. Cook for a few minutes and turn the heat down. Cut the large Reblochon in half so you have two flat pieces.

Chop one into small cubes, and the other one in half for later. Now, slice the potato and layer into a large flat ovenproof dish, cover the first layer in the delicious onion/bacon/garlic mix. Place the cubes of Reblochon on top of the first layer and repeat until you run out of potato and mixture.

Pour 50ml of cream over the potatoes, adding more if you feel it’s necessary. Finially, place the last two pieces of cheese on top of the dish and take that baby to the oven.

Bake until golden brown and bubbling, this should take about 15 minutes, but do let it go as the crispy parts are the best.

Serve with a green salad with a honey-mustard dressing. Give it a go and let me know what you think.