This French tartiflette recipe blends potatoes, bacon, onions and gooey Reblochon cheese into a delicious potato casserole dish. This is French comfort food at its best, very easy to make with just a few ingredients.
What is tartiflette savoyard?
Tartiflette is a traditional french potato dish originating from the Savoy region in France, more specifically in the French Alps, hence the name tartiflette savoyarde. Tartiflette is a delicious dish of winter comfort food, normally served after a long day on the ski slopes in the Alps, making it a great ‘Après ski’ dish. I personally think this french potato casserole should not only be served in winter time as it tastes great all year round.
The main ingredient to make an authentic tartiflette is the Reblochon cheese. Made from unpasteurised milk, it is a semi-soft cheese from the Haute-Savoie region in France. It has a mild, slightly fruity, nutty flavour and gives the tartiflette dish its traditional taste.
- Potatoes: Tartiflette is best made with waxy or semi-waxy potatoes as they are firm and hold their shape when cooked. Avoid using very starchy potatoes like Russet as they tend to crumble and break down too much after cooking. Consider using potato varieties like: Yukon Gold, Charlotte, Ratte, Fingerling or new potatoes.
- Cheese: Traditionally, tartiflette is made with Reblochon cheese. However, this type of cheese might be difficult to source, depending on where you live. As an alternative, you can use a well-aged wheel of Camembert or Brie.
- Bacon: Use smoked bacon or lardon cut into strips or cubes.
- Onions: Onions are a key ingredient in this french potato dish for developing an aromatic flavour base and adding depth of flavour to harmonise with the other tartiflette ingredients.
- Garlic: Garlic is often considered optional in tartiflette as it might overpower the taste. However, I like to add some minced garlic to be fried together with the onions, the taste of which becomes milder after frying but it will add to the overall flavour profile of the final dish.
- White wine: While baking in the oven, the white wine will blend with the creamy cheese making it absolutely divine. Make sure to use a dry white wine.
- Nutmeg: The sweet, earthy, warm aroma of nutmeg combines great with the other ingredients of Tartiflette. Ground nutmeg is an option but the best is to use freshly grated nutmeg.
- Seasoning: Salt and pepper is all the extra seasoning this dish needs in addition to the nutmeg.
What to use instead of Reblochon cheese?
Due to certain laws, Reblochon cheese is not available in the US and some other countries. But don’t worry, there are some Reblochon substitutes that work well instead of tartiflette cheese. Reblochon is a semi-soft cheese with a pale-yellow creamy interior and a washed rind. The taste can be described as mild with nutty and earthy undertones. When choosing a substitute for Reblochon, make sure to select a cheese with a similar flavour profile and melting properties.
Cheeses that work well to provide the same gooey texture are:
- Raclette cheese: A Swiss cheese with great melting properties and a milky but also slightly nutty taste.
- Taleggio: A semi-soft Italian cheese with a thin crust and a rather mild, fruity aroma.
- Brie: With its rich, earthy and buttery flavour, a well-aged Brie wheel is a great substitute for Reblochon cheese.
- Camembert: A well-aged Camembert has a similar flavour profile as Reblochon and Brie making it a great alternative.
How to make tartiflette
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This french potato and cheese dish is fairly easy to make with just a few ingredients. Tartiflette ingredients include: Reblochon cheese, potatoes, onions, garlic and lardons or bacon. In fact, the most complicated part of the dish will be to source a Reblochon cheese as it’s not available for sale in some countries.
I would also like to mention that there are various ways to make tartiflette. But, what is most important is that the main ingredients are in fact used instead of exactly how it’s made. For instance, you can decide to first boil the potatoes al dente before proceeding with the rest of the recipe or peel the potatoes, or not. Some recipes use cream, I however decided not to use it, since the dish is pretty heavy already without any cream.
Anyway, this is an authentic French recipe for tartiflette that works for me and achieves the best results for my personal tastes. I do however hope you enjoy making it as mush as I do.
- Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 345°F or 175°C.
- Prepare the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and slice them thinly. I use a mandoline in order to give all the slices the same thickness, otherwise they won’t cook evenly. I slice the potatoes to around 4 mm or 1/8″ thick. Sprinkle the potato slices with pepper and salt. Peel and cut the onions in half moons and mince the garlic.
- Cook the bacon and onion: Place a skillet or frying pan on high heat and fry the bacon strips to a crisp. Don’t add any butter or oil since the bacon will release its own fat to cook in. When the bacon is nice and crispy, lower the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic to the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are golden-brown.
- Cook the potatoes: After the onions are browned, add the potato slices and mix well. Leave to fry for 5 minutes on medium heat while stirring regularly, then pour a glass of dry white wine in to the mixture and simmer for a further 3 minutes (while you pour a glass for yourself too).
- Prepare the oven dish: Transfer the mixture in a preheated oven dish or use the same skillet or frying pan, if it is oven proof. Cover the potato mix with aluminium foil, but don’t cover the whole dish otherwise the mix will get too liquid. The purpose of the foil is so the potatoes can cook and steam slowly in the white wine while most of the liquid will either be soaked up by the potatoes or slightly evaporated.
- Cook the potatoes: After 30 minutes, check if the potatoes are nearly ready and soft. If they are, take the dish out of the oven.
- Make the tartiflette: Slice the cheese wheel cross-wise (or length-wise) in half so you end up with two full size discs. Place the cheese with the crust facedown on top of the potatoes in the oven dish. This way the cheese doesn’t disappear completely in to the dish, but stays nicely on top and only seeps slightly through the potato mix. Increase the oven temperature to 395°F or 200°C and put it on grill setting. Place the dish back in the oven, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. The tartiflette is ready when the potatoes are soft, the cheese has melted, is slightly browned and has started bubbling.
Can this potato dish be made in advance?
Tartiflette is always best eaten straight after coming out of the oven as it will be soaking in a creamy, delicious sauce. This is why I advise to serve it as soon as possible. However, if there are leftovers, you can always store these covered in the fridge for up to 1 day and re-heat again in the microwave oven, but bear in mind the taste and texture will be slightly different yet still delicious nevertheless. However, when serving this dish for guests, and you really want to impress them, it is highly recommended to serve immediately as already mentioned above.
What to serve with tartiflette
Tartiflette is already a pretty filling dish so it is best served in slightly smaller quantities together with lighter side dishes. A nice green crisp salad or some pickled cornichons (gherkins) will go well with tartiflette, but you can also serve it with some french baguette to mop up the gooey cheese sauce and of course a good glass of dry white wine to wash it all down.
Interested in more French recipes to try?
- Traditional French ratatouille
- Chicken Normandy or French apple cider chicken
- How to cook mussels mariniere
- Roasted chestnuts
- Chestnut and mushroom soup
French Tartiflette with reblochon cheese
- Mandoline slicer
- 2 pounds (or 1 kg) potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
- 9 ounces (or 250 g) bacon bits
- 2 medium onions cut into half moons
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ⅔ cup (150 ml) white wine dry
- 1 Reblochon cheese wheel
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg freshly ground
- Preheat the oven to 175°C or 345°F
- Peel the potatoes and slice them by hand or with a mandoline to a thickness of 4 mm or ⅛". Make sure all the slices have the same thickness. Add the salt and pepper to the potato slices.
- Fry the bacon pieces in a large skillet on high heat without adding oil or butter for 5 minutes. The bacon will release some of its own fat to continue frying in.
- Add the sliced onion and minced garlic to the bacon bits and continue browning the onions on medium heat for 3 minutes.
- Add the potato slices with the bacon and onion, mix properly and brown for 5 minutes on medium heat. Pour the white wine in to the mixture and let it simmer for 3 minutes. Be sure to save some wine for yourself.
- Pour the mixture in to a preheated oven dish (or use the same skillet, if it can be used in the oven). Take some aluminium foil and cover the top of the mixture, but don't cover the whole dish, only the food.
- Put the oven dish in the preheated oven and let the potatoes cook or steam in the white wine for 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes the potatoes still aren't soft enough, leave them for another 10 minutes in the oven.
- Slice the Reblochon cheese in half lengthwise, so you end up with 2 thinner full size discs.
- Place the cheese discs, crust down, on top of the potato mixture, make sure most of it is covered.
- Increase the heat of the oven to 200°C or 395°F, on grill setting. Put the dish back in the oven for 10 minutes. The cheese needs to brown, but only partly melt into the potato mixture, so don't overdo it.
- Potatoes: I use waxy potatoes to make this tartiflette recipe. This is so the potato mixture stays firm enough and doesn’t break apart when serving the tartiflette.
- White wine: Make sure to use dry white wine. I use quite a lot, but I let it mostly evaporate while cooking the potatoes on the stove, before placing them in the oven. I like the residual flavour of the wine, mixed with the melted cheese.
- Seasoning: Add enough salt and pepper up front. It’s difficult to add seasoning to the dish afterwards.
- Reblochon cheese: If you cannot source Reblochon cheese, you can use a well-aged Brie or Camembert, Taleggio or Raclette cheese as a substitute.
Inspired to prepare this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it to your Pinterest board for later.