Recipe for Tartiflette
The word tartiflette is based on the local word tartifle meaning potatoes.
On a menu, tartiflette can also go by the name Pela, which was the original name for this dish and was a gratin of potatoes, onions and cheese; the word pela being derived from the long handled pan in which it was made called a pelagic. This dish in it’s modern day form was made popular and promoted in the 1980s by Le Syndicat Interprofessionnel du Reblochon to increase the sales of Reblochon cheese in the region. Tartiflette was mentioned for the first time, in a book around 1705.
Reblochon derives from the word “reblocher” which when literally translated means “to pinch a cow’s udder again”. This refers to the practice of holding back some of the milk from the first milking. During the 14th century, the landowners would tax the mountain farmers according to the amount of milk their herds produced. The farmers would therefore not fully milk the cows until after the landowner had measured the yield. The milk that remains is much richer, and was traditionally used by the dairymaids to make their own cheese.
The traditional accompaniments are charcuterie, gherkins, pickled silver-skin onions and a green salad.
Prep Time 15 mins
700g potatoes peeled and thickly slices
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into slim rings
150ml dry white wine
350g reblochon cut in half horizontally, then sliced
1. Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Drop the potatoes into a large pan of boiling water – cook for 10 minutes then drain well. Fry the bacon in a little oil until golden and crisp. Remove and add the onion, cook until really soft, about 10 minutes. Add the white wine and cook over a gentle heat for 5 mins.
2. Butter a baking dish well. Arrange layers of potato, onion, bacon and cheese, finish with cheese on top (season as you layer but go easy on the salt).
3. Pour cream over the top.
4. Bake for 40-60 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the top bubbling and golden.