Ok, so the country’s transport system is on its knees, there are hundreds of cold commuters stuck in Paris, but I can’t deny a tiny part of me is thrilled at the prospect of a white Christmas…
Having worked in ski resorts, the cold weather makes me long for the comfort of traditional Alpine dishes. Those cheese-laden, slow-cooked, soporific delights that leave you with no other option but to curl up on the sofa and watch the Christmas tree with a large glass of red. Dishes specifically designed to insulate you from the biting frost, packed with bacon, potatoes, pastry and wine. Basically, everything we’re not supposed to eat.
But hey, it’s Christmas. And it’s snowing! So I vote we all get stuck in.
Out of everything I’ve cooked in my life, I think this tartiflette
would be my last meal. A wickedly indulgent combination of thinly sliced potatoes, bacon and cheese, scented with garlic and heavy with cream, it’s a dish I have a constant love affair with in the winter. It is also a dish that will have the men in the room on their knees, sighing in contented, gluttonous delight. No bad thing if you want some peace over Christmas!
The cheese this recipe calls for is Reblochon – a seasonal cow’s milk cheese from the Alps. Pungent and full-flavoured, it mellows when melted. It’s available in Waitrose and good cheese shops, but if you can’t find it, Irish Ardrahan works well, as does Pont L’Eveque from Normandy.
In our house, we always eat this dish on Christmas Eve. It’s completely prepare ahead, and requires nothing more than a sharp green salad, and some pickles. Festive, good for a crowd and universally loved. You can’t go wrong!