I fell in love with Perigord in France, the scenery, the castles, the gorges, the prehistoric caves and above all else….the food. This is the heart of France, an 8 hour drive from Roscoff to Sarlat for us.
This is where I discovered Foie Gras…it is the home of the Geese Farm…there was one beside our campsite. Each morning we would walk through rows of market stalls, buying an array of local food from cepes and chantrelles to saucisson and cheeses, I would take this home and serve a lunchtime feast. We would buy fresh baguettes, so delicious in themselves that a perfect picnic was just Baguette with rillete and a glass of wine.
But my favourite was the humble spud! Even in France it won me over in the form of Pommes Sarladais, quiet simply, slices of potato sautéed in goose fat with heaps of garlic until golden and crispy on the outside and light and fluffy within. Perfect with my Duck and it’s rich fruity berry sauce. I could go on forever about the cheeses, the strawberries, the sauccisson, the cassoulet, kayaking down the Dordogne River and discovering ancient caves but I think you get the picture so instead I’m going to share my recipe with you for another French favourite, Tartiflette from the Alsace region, it’s a winter dish to be eaten when the rain is beating down and yet another French take on the humble Irish Spud! I hope you enjoy.
- 1kg or roughly 6 large Potatoes ( I used Roosters )
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic chopped
- 7 or 8 slices of good quality smoked pancetta ( I used Gubbeen )
- 1 x 200 ml tub of creme fraiche
- 1 round of Durrus cheese, Reblichon or a good soft Brie
- 2-3 tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 170 degs. Leave the skin on the potatoes ( I cut them in half ) and steam until ‘just’ cooked, you want them cooked but still with a little bite, allow to cool and then slice into rounds and season well with salt and pepper.
- While the potatoes are steaming heat 1 tbsp of butter in a frying pan and sautee the onions for around 10 minutes until they are soft and golden. Add the chopped garlic and cook it into the onion mixture for around 1 minute taking care not to burn it.
- Remove the onion mixture to a plate and turn the heat up in the frying pan. Add the pancetta and cooked until crisp. Remove from the pan and add to the onion mixture to cool.
- Add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan with a drop of oil and heat over a medium heat. Add the potato slices to the pan and cook in batches until golden in colour, turning to ensure they are coloured on both sides.
- Return the onion, garlic and pancetta mixture to the frying pan and briefly heat through, remove from the heat and add in the creme fraiche stirring to combine.
- Grease a shallow oven dish with butter and arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom, top this with the creme fraiche, pancetta and onion mix, then half of the round of cheese cut into chunks. Repeat this layering one more time topping with the remaining cheese cut into chunks.
- Place into the oven until piping hot, golden and bubbling.
- Serve with a tossed green salad