I still can’t believe the fiancée cooked this for me. When I’m working late, it’s par for her to shun bacon, eschew oil, and cook as many vegetables as possible. So I was a little surprised when I came home to a bacon laden gratin with half a wheel of cheese melted on top. I kissed her immediately. I mean, really—what a wonderful thing to do. She found it in the North Market Cookbook. The cheesemonger said he got the recipe “from a French customer.” How intriguing.
The only cheese permitted to be used on a tartiflette is Reblochon, a soft cheese made in the French Alps. Or, at least that’s what Wikipedia states. It also said it was invented in the 1980s as a marketing ploy to sell more cheese. Whatever. Using cream is traditional (as of 1980), but chicken stock is also accepted. It’s surprisingly tasty, not a bit too greasy, and even more wonderful if you can get someone to make it for you.
- 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2 thick
- 1/2 quart chicken stock or cream
- 1/4 pound of bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 wheel of Reblochon
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add the stock or cream to a skillet, bring to a simmer. Toss in the potatoes with a little salt and pepper. Cook until they are slightly tender, about 10 minutes.
While that’s going on, cook the bacon in another skillet. When the fat begins to render, add the chopped onion. Cook until they are softened.
Butter a gratin dish, and then dump the bacon and onion mixture in. Place the potatoes gently on top. Finally, place the cheese, rind side up, on top.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese has lightly browned. Let it sit for a minute before digging in.