ingredients
  • Potatoes 1.2kg firm
  • bacon lardons 200g
  • onion or shallot 1 , chopped finely (optional)
  • Reblochon cheese 1
  • crème fraîche 40ml

This fabulous oven-baked combo of potatoes, bacon lardons and crème fraiche are topped off by the crowning glory of melted Reblochon cheese for a hearty main meal or side dish. It’s a traditional French dish, great for autumn and winter days.

Use waxy potatoes like Maris Piper for this, not the floury kind like Kind Edwards, and try to get proper Reblochon cheese if you can – the kind made with raw milk.

This dish goes brilliantly with a dry, white wine like Apremont or other white Savoie.

Instructions

Peel the potatoes, and add to a saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to the boil.

Use the tip of a knife to check if the potatoes are cooked. If there is no resistance when you insert the blade, then the potatoes are done. This may take from 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.

When cooked, drain the potatoes, and leave them to cool naturally – don’t cool them in cold water.

Slice the onion or shallot, if using, and heat gently in a skillet with a little oil until soft.

Add the bacon lardons and fry for a few minutes, until the lardons are starting to brown and crisp.

Butter a gratin dish, and cut the potatoes in thick slices. Place half of the potatoes at the bottom of the gratin dish, and add half of the lardons and onions.

Add the remaining potatoes, lardons, and onions, then spread the crème fraîche on top.

Take the rind off the Reblochon, and cut into pieces. Place the pieces over the top of the potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 425F/200C fan/gas mark 7, and put the gratin dish in the oven. Cook until the potatoes are hot, and the Reblochon has melted and is golden brown.

Notes:

If you live in America, you probably won’t be able to get proper French Reblochon, as it is made with unpasteurized milk. You may have to substitute it with Fromage de Savoie, which was created for the American market as a replacement for Reblochon.