Tartiflette is a modern French dish based on the traditional gratin made with potatoes and melted cheese. If you’re looking for warm comfort food to enjoy on chilly evenings, look no further than this inexpensive and satisfying one-pot meal. This dish is from the Haute-Savoie French Alps Valley and is a simple, hearty combination of potato, bacon, onion, and cheese. For the last couple decades, it has became a staple winter dish in French kitchens.

The name Tartiflette is from the Franco-Provencal language (patois) that means “potato” (tartifla) and it is funny because any word ending with “flette” is cute. The actual recipe calls for (and was created to use) Reblochon  cheese, a soft raw-milk. Reblochon is no longer available in the USA because of the new laws about pasteurization of soft cheeses, so my twist is using Raclette cheese which is available at Trader Joe’s. This dish is really delicious and so easy to make and perfect when you have last minute company!

My sister originally introduced me to Tartiflette. When my sister and I stay at my parents’ house in the Basque country we usually take turns cooking lunch and dinner. We’re all crazy about great cuisine and cooking as a family so there is always a new dish to try or learn about. Cooking in my mother’s kitchen is always a happy affair.  Her kitchen is large with a gorgeous view of the garden, the flowers, the pine trees… with plenty of counter space and room to chop, cook, and gather.

One day when my sister Martine and I were staying at my parents’ house years ago, my sister decided to share an easy recipe from the Alps that she had tasted at a friend’s party in Paris. I remember how I laughed when I heard the cute name of this dish: Tartiflette.

In my fridge, I always have the basics for this recipe: Cubetti Pancetta (pancetta mini-cubes), Raclette cheese, and Creme Fraiche…all from Trader Joe’s (and extra thanks to TJ’s, the Raclette cheese is now conveniently sliced). So when I want to make something fast and comforting I make my sister’s Tartiflette.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 (4oz) pkg Cubetti Pancetta (pancetta mini cubes)
  • 1 large onion, diced or 1 1/2 cups refrigerated Diced onions
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 1 (8.8 oz) Raclette sliced cheese
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp extra to grease the dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 400° degrees F.
  2. Grease with olive oil a 9-inch baking dish. (or 2 5 inch ramekins)
  3. Bring a large pot of cold salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well.
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat sauté onion in olive oil until tender and translucent. Set aside and place in a bowl.
  5. In the same saucepan add Pancetta cubes and cook for about 5-7 minutes . Remove from heat; drain and discard fat. Set aside.
  6. In large bowl mix onion, potatoes, crème fraiche, salt and pepper.
  7. Place 1/2 of the potatoes mixture into the baking dish; then add 1/2 of the pancetta mixture over it. Layer in the remaining potato mixture, and rest of the Pancetta cubes.
  8. Layer the Raclette cheese slices evenly over the top of the baking dish.
  9. Bake until cheese is melted and a bit brown, about 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

Notes

Delicious with homemade Mache (Lamb lettuce) and walnut salad (1/2 bag Mache, 1/2 cup halved raw walnut, salt, pepper and homemade Dijon vinaigrette. All ingredients are available at Trader Joe’s. Wine: dry white wine.