Some years ago Jane won a short holiday for us in the South of France. We stayed in Aix-en-Provence. On one of the days we were there we explored the area of Mont St.Victoire, a rugged, sparsely-populated mountainous area much favoured by the famous Post-Impressionist artist, Paul Cézanne (1839 -1906), whose work we love. We ate our lunch in a rural hostelry called Relais de Saint Ser, and it was here that I had my first ever taste of Tartiflette. I remember it well - it was love at first sight / taste!
The Savoyard dish Tartiflette is a combination of potatoes, bacon lardons, onions, cream and cheese (usually Reblochon), so therefore in my opinion the ultimate Comfort Food. The choice of cheese is crucial for this dish. You can't use just any old cheese, it has to be one that melts nicely, such as Reblochon or Pont l’Evêque.
You will find many recipes for this dish on the internet, and I have looked at several of them. Whilst there are evidently some minor variations, the recipes are all broadly similar, which you would expect for a dish with only a few ingredients. The one I used as my guide was from the BBC Good Food website, and was written by Mary Cadogan.
My minor variations on the theme were that I used pre-cut smoked bacon lardons rather than bacon rashers cut into pieces, and I used quartered small new potatoes rather than sliced old potatoes. I definitely used Reblochon cheese though - see photo above!
This dish certainly scores highly in the Results-to-Effort stakes. It's very easy and quick to prepare and cook. I'll not repeat the recipe, you can just look at Mary Cadogan's one, but I'll show you some photos.
|Chunks of cheese added to pre-cooked potatoes, bacon, and onions|
|Cream is poured over the top|
|After 20 minutes in the oven the cheese has melted and browned|
These are the accompaniments I made for our meal.
First my home-made bread. This is a classic Bloomer, made using Paul Hollywood's recipe.
I cut a couple of thick slices, toasted them and slathered them with garlic butter...
Then a salad of tomatoes and red onions. I had "quick-pickled" the onions by steeping them in red wine vinegar for a few hours. This enhances the flavour of the onions whilst removing their harshness. They are incredibly yummy done this way!
Finally a simple Endive Salad, with blanched Endive from the garden.
To remind us even more of Mont St.Victoire I served the Tartiflette with a bottle of Rosé wine, the one we call "Willis Rosé" because it comes from the vineyard in which we have shares - Domaine du Grand Mayne, in the Cote de Duras.
What a shame I couldn't also dish up some Provençal weather!