Tartiflette – French Potato, Bacon, and Illegal Cheese Casserole

watch_later Thursday, March 10, 2016
There’s nothing I like more than getting a food wish for something I didn’t know existed, and thanks to a Mr. Patrick Ryan, I now know that tartiflette exists. This striking looking dish is basically a potato, onion, and bacon casserole, topped with Reblochon cheese.

If you haven’t heard of Reblochon, don’t feel bad. It’s illegal here. Since it’s made with raw milk, which apparently is dangerous, even though people have been eating it for centuries, it’s not allowed to be imported into the country. However, while you can’t get the real stuff, without smuggling at least, you can get a wonderful substitute, called “Dancing Fern,” from Sequatchie Cove Creamery.

If you’re wondering what it’s like, this is their description: “…soft and supple texture and barnyardy aroma, along with notes of cultured butter, shiitake mushroom, and walnuts.” You can find it at your finer cheese shops, or from several online sources, and while very expensive, it really was a magnificent cheese.

If you can’t swing faux-reblochon, I’ve read about some people using half gruyere and half brie. After tasting the finished product, I can see how that combo could create a somewhat similar flavor profile. Of course, since we’re talking about potatoes and bacon, just about any melting cheese should work beautifully. I really hope you give this amazing casserole a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 8 portions:
butter for greasing casserole dish
3 pounds russet potatoes, cooked with skins on, in salted water
12 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large onions, sliced thin
salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste
1⁄2 cup drinkable white wine
3/4 cup crème fraiche
1 pound Reblochon cheese, or something similar like Dancing Fern

- 375F. for 45 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender

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