Absolutely not Tartiflette

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.

Tartiflette

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Method:

  • 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!

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