There’s no real way to justify the gluttonous nature of this recipe. It is traditionally enjoyed in the French mountains after a respectable day’s skiing where you will have burned somewhere in the region of 200 calories. Well, if you’re anything like us, you count blow-drying your hair as exercise. Oh dear. But you know…working 5+ days a week is pretty hard. So just enjoy this version with your pals, alongside a little gem lettuce salad with a mustardy French dressing to cut through the naughtiness: you’ve earned it. Oh and did we also mention that it is gluten-free? Practically wipes the slate clean (although you may want to mop up some of that cheesy goodness with a baguette…).
We use Brie and/or Camembert in our convenience shop version, as Reblochon is difficult if not impossible to come by locally. Purists, look away now.
- 1kg waxy potatoes
- 550ml whole milk
- generous grating of nutmeg
- 200ml double cream
- knob of butter, plus extra for greasing
- 1 onion
- 200g smoked streaky bacon rashers
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 300g Brie or Camembert
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C /gas 4. Grease a large ovenproof pie dish with butter.
Peel the potatoes and slice into thin rounds. Place in a large pan and cover with the milk. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and the nutmeg, and simmer on a low heat for about 15-20 minutes until they are just cooked, stirring occasionally to make sure no slices get stuck to the bottom. Stir in the cream, then turn the heat off.
While the potatoes and cooking, melt the knob of butter in a frying pan on a medium heat. Thinly slice the onion and add to the pan. Snip the bacon rashers into pieces while the onion gets a cooking head start, then add to the same frying pan with the garlic. Cook for a further few minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside.
When the potatoes are tender and you have added the cream, gently stir in the cooked onion, bacon and garlic. Pour the potato mix into the greased pie dish, spreading evenly. Finally, cut the cheese into slices and slot in-between the top lateral potato slices.
Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is golden and the top potatoes are crispy in bits. Serve immediately.