Tartiflette-Gratineed Potatoes in White Sauce
Tartiflette, or gratinéed potatoes in white sauce, is a classic dish that exhibits all the characteristics of French culinary decadence. You can enjoy it simply, alongside a light green salad, or alongside an impressive roast for a special occasion.

Ingredients

6 cups La Ratte or fingerling potatoes Salt, as needed 2 tablespoons unsalted butter…

CIA FOODIES


Tartiflette

Tartiflette, or gratinéed potatoes in white sauce, is a classic dish that exhibits all the characteristics of French culinary decadence. You can enjoy it simply, alongside a light green salad, or alongside an impressive roast for a special occasion.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups La Ratte or fingerling potatoes
  • Salt, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • Ground white or cayenne pepper, as needed
  • Grated nutmeg, as needed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz dry-cured bacon, sliced (16 slices)
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Reblochon cheese
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash the potatoes, place in a sauce pot, and cover them with cold water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until they’re cooked through. Drain and keep them warm.
  3. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat, add the flour to form a roux, and cook it for 30 seconds while stirring constantly. Take the pan off the heat, and allow the roux to cool slightly. Add the milk and whisk until the roux is thoroughly dispersed into the milk. Return the pan to the stove and cook the mixture over medium heat. Stir the sauce continuously until it thickens, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Insert the clove and bay leaf into the onion (this is called onion piqué), and add to the sauce. Cover the saucepan tightly with a lid or foil, and place it into a larger pan of simmering water for 30 minutes; the water should come to or above the level of the sauce in the smaller saucepan. When the sauce is cooked, remove and discard the onion piqué. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and add the heavy cream. Keep the sauce warm in the water bath until needed.
  5. Grill the bacon slices until they’re crisp; cut them at right angles into 1/4-inch strips. Cut the cooked potatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  6. In a bowl, mix the potatoes, four-fifths of the bacon, and enough sauce to lightly bind the two. Add half of the cheese and mix together thoroughly. Pour this mixture into a buttered 2-quart gratin dish. Top the mixture with the remaining sauce, cheese, and bacon and bake until it’s golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle the tartiflette with chives and serve.

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2 Comments

  1. alm.international@hotmail.com

    Where would one find this unpasteurized cheese in the US? My daughter brought back (perhaps illegally) 3 wheels from Grenoble many years ago so that we could enjoy this wonderful dish. I’d be happy to find the cheese and make it again. In our version, we split the rounds horizontally and laid them over a potato mixture before baking.

    • laura.monroe@culinary.edu

      Well, you sure just made me hungry! Your daughter is a daring cheese traveler, which is the best kind of person to know. But since we can’t all count on that regularly, yes, you’ll have to make some substitutions if making this stateside. The bad news is that Reblochon really is one of a kind, as you well know. It is hard to offer up a true equal to substitute. The good news is, there are so many delicious cheeses with similar characteristics that will still be amazing in this dish (in fact, it would be hard to imagine a bad option…). Ideally, you would check with your local cheesemonger and ask for their favorite semi-soft, washed-rind cheese. Taste a few and go home with the one that suits you best. In a grocery store setting, you can look for raclette or Tallegio, though truly, any good melting cheese will do the trick.

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