By Corinna Horton
The chef in my life, Benoit Gelinotte, is Burgundy born. Raised in Renève France, a small village just south of Dijon, he possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of French cuisine. As a child he shunned family vacations and long, hot days of sitting in the backseat of the family car en route to the French Riviera for the certainty of being well fed in his grandmother’s kitchen. A chef herself, she proved time and again that even the humblest of ingredients; handled with a measure of respect and solid technique, can be made into the mightiest of meals.
On occasion, when he pines for an authentic taste of home, he takes to the kitchen and makes this incredible dish out of a couple of potatoes, an onion, a chunk of bacon, a sizeable amount of cream and a piece of pungent, soft cheese. The result is classic simplicity, in its purest form.
Tartiflette, Courtesy of Corinna Horton, foodgypsy.ca, Aylmer, QC
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
2 1/2 pounds (1 kg) new potatoes
1/2 pound (225 g) thick-cut, smoked bacon
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups (475 mL) heavy cream
1 lb (450g) Reblochon-style cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Wash and scrub potatoes well. Slice 1/4 inch slices and rinse in cold water. In a medium sized pot, cover with cold, salted water and boil until just tender (10-12 minutes). Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside. (If using late harvest potatoes peel first.)
2. While potatoes cook, slice bacon in two inch pieces, sauté over medium-high heat until tender.
3. Pour off excess fat, leaving about a tbsp. Add chopped onion to sweat with the bacon until transparent. 4. Taste. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat to cool.
5. Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
6. When potatoes are cool enough to handle place a layer in the bottom of a large ovenproof pan and season with salt and pepper.
7. Take remaining potatoes and toss with bacon and onion. Season as needed and add to the top of the potato layer.
8. Add cream until potato mixture is almost covered.
9. Cut cheese into 1-inch chunks and place on top before sliding pan into the oven. Bake until tender, with a crispy, browned top (about 45 minutes).
10. Check with tip of a knife. Be sure potatoes are tender, but not mushy. Remove and rest 10 minutes.
Corinna Horton Pro Cook. Amateur Mom. Passionate Wino. Gypsy.
Recipe testing, blogging about food, wine and the art of living well from her home kitchen just outside Ottawa; Corinna (Cori) Horton trained at Le Cordon Bleu, spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia’s Dragonfly Inn, and is currently at work on her second book.