Potatoes Gratin With Smoky Bacon (Tartiflette Savoyarde)

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Serves 6 to 8

This creamy, cheesy potato dish originates in the Savoy region of the French Alps. It benefits from smoky bacon and the traditional cheese of the area, Reblochon. If you can’t find it, try quality Gruyere or Fontina with a bit of brie or camembert added for fun. The potatoes can be cooked a day ahead and allowed to cool overnight, or the whole casserole dish can be made ahead and baked right before serving. Be sure to take it out of the refrigerator to warm up a bit before you bake it.

Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds whole Yukon Gold potatoes

  • 12 ounces smoky bacon, cut into lardons

  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • ½ cup crème fraîche

  • ½ cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 2 pounds reblochon cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (or substitute shredded Gruyere or fontina)

  • Salt and pepper, as needed

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash the potatoes and transfer to a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are just tender, being careful not to overcook. Remove potatoes from water and let air dry. Once cooled, slice potatoes ¼-inch thick and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon lardons until brown, then drain the bacon fat (and store for future use, if desired). Add the sliced onion and garlic to the same pan and cook until soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add the cream and allspice and continue cooking for 5 minutes over medium heat to reduce cream slightly. Add the crème fraîche to the mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

In a 9-inch by 11-inch, oven-proof dish, spread one-third of the creamy onion mixture on the bottom of the pan. Add one layer of the sliced potatoes (without overlapping), then season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Layer a third of the cheese. Repeat with another third of the creamy onion mixture, then potatoes (season with salt and pepper), then another third of the cheese. Top with remaining cream mixture and remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe created by Russ Langstadt, Chef, Cana's Feast Winery, Carlton, Oregon