About this recipe:This potato dish is a favourite in France. Originating from the Savoie (Alps) region, it is perfect for a cold day - especially after a day on the slopes. I use either Reblochon or Brie when making it here. Reblochon cheese is the authentic cheese for the dish, but it's not always readily available. Raclette cheese mixed with Gruyere is also a good substitute.
1.2kg red potatoes, peeled and cut into 6mm slices
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
225g streaky bacon, cut crossways into 6mm pieces
225ml creme fraiche
salt and ground black pepper to taste
225g Reblochon or Brie cheese, sliced
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:1hr › Extra time:1hr20min › Ready in:2hr40min
Preheat an oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 20x30cm baking tin.
Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two, then place in a large bowl.
Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon, and continue cooking and stirring until the bacon is browned, 2 to 3 more minutes. Mix onion mixture into the potatoes. Stir in the creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper. Spread potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, and arrange the sliced cheese on top. Cover with aluminium foil.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then remove the aluminium foil. Return the pan to the oven, and continue baking until bubbly, 10 to 15 more minutes.
The way I determine exactly how many potatoes I'm using is by seeing how many fill a 20x30cm (9x13 in) pan. It's usually about the amount given here. The amount of cheese will seem like a lot. It melts down into the potatoes - if you don't use enough, the dish will come out too dry. I made this dish often last year when I lived in France, and it is one that can easily be 'winged' and is difficult to mess up.