You can tell it is winter now. Some mornings the harvested corn fields are as white as snow then the ice melts slowly as the sun lazily makes an appearance on the horizon. Sometimes it’s dry, sometimes it rains, wonderfully turning all grassy areas in a muddy sludge, ideal for taking the dogs out for a walk. Not. If you’re lucky the wind lies still when you’re out and about, but boy if it’s a bad day the wind with its chill factor will cut right through you like a sharp knife. What doesn’t change is the sky. It stays grey, whether it’s light grey or dark grey, it’s simply the shade that changes…
When weather conditions remain like this, weeks on end, I can’t help but turn to comfort food. Who cares whether this dish is potentially fattening, we all need an extra layer during the cold winter months, no?
Creamy Potato, Bacon & Brie Tartiflette
Preparation: 15 mins – Cooking: 1 hour
- 10ml (2 tsp) vegetable oil
- 300g (10 oz) bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 5ml (1 tsp) fresh thyme leaves
- 284ml (½ pint) double (heavy) cream
- 300ml (½ pint) milk
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1kg (1 lbs) waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 250g mature ripe Brie, cut into thin slices
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4, and lightly grease a 1.5-litre ovenproof dish. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the bacon and onion over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes until beginning to brown.
- Chop the thyme leaves, reserving a few to garnish. Place the thyme, cream, milk and garlic in a large pan. Bring to a simmer, add the potatoes, then cover and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon and onions and season with freshly ground black pepper. Place half the potato mixture in the base of the prepared dish, then top with half the sliced cheese. Repeat, finishing with a layer of cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, and the top is golden. Garnish with the remaining thyme and serve immediately.
- Serve a salad on the side.
- A crisp, white wine cuts through the richness of the dish – a classic combination.
- This dish can be assembled, ready to cook, several hours in advance or the day before. Cool, then cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge until required. Remove the clingfilm and allow 10-15 minutes extra time in the oven if cooking straight from the fridge.
- You can divide the ingredients equally between 6 individual dishes if you prefer.