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Milly's Summer Catalogue

Geoff Scott's Tartiflette

This ultra-rich winter dish should come with a warning! It needs to be eaten when it’s cold outside and when you have a real hunger on. There are many ways you can prepare this dish but essentially it’s all about the cheese. Getting the potatoes just right, the perfect ‘bed’ for the cheese is something the French are quite fussy about! Boiling then frying the potatoes seems to be the most popular method. Michelin-starred Marc Veyrat, a native of the Haute-Savoie, fries his precooked potatoes in butter until golden before baking. This not only improves their flavour, but the texture of the entire dish. The locals suggest washing tartiflette down with wine or hot tea, to prevent a "cheese stone" forming in the stomach, ouch! Reblochon is a French washed rind cheese available from specialty food shops, a good Kiwi washed rind cheese makes the perfect substitute. Serves 6


Ingredients


1.3kg waxy potatoes, skin left on
6 Tbsp butter (plus a little extra)
1 medium onion, finely sliced
200g smoked bacon lardons (speck or smoked pork belly or pancetta)
150ml dry white wine
200ml whipping cream
1 x 500gr whole Reblochon cheese (or washed rind cheese of your choice)
1 clove of garlic

Method


Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender, take care not to cook right through. Drain well and leave to cool. This is best done the day before. Meanwhile, melt half the butter in a fry pan and cook the onions and lardons until the onions are soft and both are beginning to brown a little. Tip in the wine, bring to a simmer, and reduce to nearly nothing. Stir in the cream off the heat.


Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the potatoes into 1 cm cubes. Heat the remaining butter in a fry pan and saute until golden. Cut the cheese in half horizontally. Rub an ovenproof dish with the cut clove of garlic. Cover the base with half the potatoes, spoon over half the onion and bacon mixture and season. Top with half the Reblochon then repeat the layers, with the remaining Reblochon half, rind uppermost, on top. Bake for 15 minutes until browned and bubbling (stick it under the grill for five more minutes if you want it really crisp), then serve with a green salad, plenty of crusty baguette and a dry white wine.