Tartiflette, a golden brown dish of bubbling cheese. 

[caption id="attachment_85879" align="alignleft" width="751"]Tartiflette Tartiflette[/caption]

No ski holiday in France is complete without sampling tartiflette, a rich and filling cheese and potato dish highlighted with that salty hit of cured bacon. Served with a classic green salad it’s always a winner and enjoyed by young and old alike. Tartiflette is served across the French alps in every resort and appears on virtually every menu in every restaurant. 

This ancient traditional peasant dish is……..…..hang on the bell Nelly! Ancient? There’s a young pretender on the throne. Tartiflette takes its name from the French Savoyade patois of tartifles meaning potatoes and it is an adaptation of the traditional French dish of Pela, but old it isn't - it was only invented as late as the 1980s. The dish was the dream child of the French Reblechon cheese industry (Le Syndicat Interprofessionnel du Reblochon) to increase flagging sales. At that time no one could have dreamt just how successful the dish could become. 

The dish is very easy to recreate and perfect for a pre-skiing trip dinner party to get your friends in the mood and start your holiday from home. So here goes my recipe which is a little :  


  • 1kg of peeled white potatoes. d
  • 250g bacon lardons (if you cant get small lardons then chop them up yourself)
  • 2 medium sized shallots or 1 small onion
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 100ml of dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf and some fresh thyme (not essential if you don't have)
  • 200ml double cream (the real recipe is full fat creme fraiche but hey ho)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole Reblochon cheese (circa 500g) sliced into fingers (do not remove the rind)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (gas mark 6-7).
  2. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes, so they are partially cooked.
  3. Drain and allow them to cool. 
  4. Heat the frying pan until hot and fry the lardons and shallots. The lardon’s own fat should be enough but add a little butter is required. Squash the bay leaf and thyme in the palm of your hand to release the arromatics and add to the frying pan.
  5. Just before the onions and lardons turn golden brown add the garlic and fry for a further 3 minutes maximum taking care not to burn the garlic.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce down.
  7. Take an ovenproof dish and coat with butter. Thinly slice the potatoes and layer them to cover the bottom of the dish, then layer in some of the lardons and onions, then the potatoes again, then lardons and onions and continue until finished.

8. Pour the double cream in ensuring an even cover. Add salt and pepper and then the reblochon cheese fingers.

9. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so until the cheese is golden brown and the dish is bubbling. It is important not to remove the cheese rind as this gives the dish a wonderful crunch contrast to the soft potatoes. 

[caption id="attachment_85880" align="alignleft" width="225"]Tartiflette White Wine Deglazing in white wine...[/caption]

This dish is great for a dinner party as it can be prepared a day in advance and even once cooked it can rest in a warm oven for 40 minutes quite easily. Personally I’d pair this with a green salad of finely shredded romaine lettuce and a simple dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Another good pairing would be what us Chisits* (people from Leicester) would call “kewks n oonyuns”. This is a simple salad of sliced onions and deseeded skinned cucumber covered in vinegar for a few hours. It’s a quick pickle but the acidity works so well with the cheese fats. Leicester meet Savoie, Savoie meet Leicester. 

The wine? A sharp dry white from savoie such as an Altesse would work perfectly. 

Go on, give it a whirl and impress your friends. Happy eating and please do let me know how you get on.

*Why are people from Leicester called Chisits you may wonder? Well, in days of old when we holidayed in Skeggeh (Skegness) the shopkeepers named us this as we would constantly say “How much is it?” which sounded like “I am a Chisit”. Every day’s a school day!