So last Sunday I had one of those days when for absolutely no reason, I was in a terrible mood. Not even Finding Nemo cheered me up. So you know it’s bad.
So after getting pretty sick of me, The Boy decided to run me a bath. And I listened to (and wailed along to) Adele in the bath for an hour and then suddenly I felt a lot better. And I wanted to cook something extraordinarily comforting and bad for me.
I wanted Tartiflette.
But it was 6pm on a Sunday and even if our local Tesco stocked Reblochon cheese (it doesn’t) it wouldn’t have been open anyway. So I had to get inventive. Of course a true Tartiflette uses Reblochon so to call this Tartiflette would be total sacrilege. So it is instead Absolutely Not Tartiflette.
I reckon it works pretty well though.
A note on potatoes: For this to work well, the potatoes need to be sliced really really thinly. I am lucky enough to have a spiraliser which has a slicing attachement. It works just fine, although you do get little circles cut out of every slice. You could also use a food processor, mandolin or the slicer side of a cheese grater. Or you could use a knife and patience.
A note on stock: I do think this is one of those meals that works best with real chicken stock (there’s a recipe for slow cooker stock, which is virtually no effort, here.) If you don’t have any though then a stock cube or jelly will still produce a very nice meal.
We had this with some sausages because we were starving. It would work as an accompaniment to some chicken (perhaps left over roast?) or works fine with a nice big salad for a slightly lighter meal.
- 2 large baking potatoes (unpeeled, unless you love peeling spuds. In which case, you’re a weirdo)
- one white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-3 rashers bacon
- a tablespoon of butter or oil (depending on how naughty you’re feeling)
- 1 tbsp flour
- 100 mls white wine (optional)
- 400 mls chicken stock
- 5 tbsp creme fraiche
- salt and pepper
- hard cheese for the topping (I used grana padano, but parmesan, gruyere, cheddar or anything you fancy really would work just fine.
- Preheat your oven to 180’C
- Slice your potatoes as thinly as you can. (See above).
- Once sliced, plunge the potatoes into a pan of boiling, salted water for 2-3 minutes. (If the slices are actually kinda thick you may want to increase this to 5 minutes. )
- Drain your potatoes in a colander.
- Chop your bacon into chunks and put in a medium sized saucepan. Cook on a very low heat so the fat melts.
- Finely slice your onion and add to the pan with the bacon.
- Add the oil or butter.
- Finely chop or crush your garlic and add to the onions and bacon. Cook everything on a low low heat until the onions are soft and translucent (7 mins or so)
- Add the tablespoon of flour to the pan and give it a good stir. It will mix with the bacon fat and butter/oil in the pan to make a roux.
- Add the wine to the bacon and onions, if using.
- Add the hot stock to the pan with the onions and bacon a little at a time (a ladle is the ideal amount), stirring constantly.
- The process will take a good few minutes to incorporate all the stock.
- Bring to the boil (this will enable the starch granules in the flour to burst and will thicken the sauce). Once boiling, turn the heat down low for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- Arrange about a third of your potato slices along the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish or gratin dish in a single layer so they overlap slightly. Sprinkle over a little salt and a good grind of pepper.
- Return to your bacon/onion/stock pan. Add the creme fraiche a little a tablespoon at a time, stirring it through really well so the sauce thickens up.
- Pour a third of the saucy bacony oniony mixture on top of the potato layer.
- Layer another third of the potatoes on top. Top that with another third of the sauce.
- Repeat once more, so you finish with the sauce on top.
- Grate as much cheese on the top as you fancy. It should pretty much cover all the sauce.
- Pop this in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. It should be golden brown and bubbling on top.
- Leave to sit for about 5 minutes as this makes it much easier to serve.
- Best eaten with a glass of wine, if you ask me.
A word of advice. Soak the dish you make this in. Do not leave it overnight without soaking. You will never get it off!