This post appears in the second issue of the Seventy Fifth magazine, published in April 2015.
Growing up in Bradford our comfort food was corned beef hash. I can't claim that it's a Yorkshire tradition but in the Binns household we ate this stew on a regular basis during the cold and dark winter months. Boarding school dinners didn't make the grade in comparison and there was no Jamie Oliver campaigning for us back then, we just had to battle with all the starchy food and overcooked vegetables.
At university I managed to do the opposite of most students: I slimmed down and ate pretty healthily (the drinking is another matter but hey, youth). I was also incredibly active, walking from student halls to lectures and fitting in a gym session most days. Then I moved to France where I promptly embarked upon a love affair with cheese and we have been on-off for the past five years.
Hard cheese, soft cheese, creamy cheese, blue cheese, raclette, tartiflette and fondue: a whole universe of fromage opened up to me and I have now swapped the corned beef hash for tartiflette. It's very easy to make - I can say that with confidence because it's often JB making it - and is great during the winter if you have last-minute guests or just fancy cheese and potatoes in the same meal.
- 6 medium potatoes (sliced fairly thinly - peeling and potato type at your discretion)
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 handfuls pancetta
- 1 reblochon cheese
- olive oil
- oz freshly ground pepper
- 1 splash of white wine (optional but really it's mandatory)
- In a pan, fry the chopped onions in a small amount of olive oil until soft then add the thinly-sliced potatoes. Constantly mix everything around on a low heat.
- Add the smoked pancetta to the pan. Continue to stir until the pancetta is cooked.
- Add the wine and stir everything together so it can soak up the wine. Add salt and pepper.
- When the potatoes turn golden, take your baking tin and smear garlic all over the base.
- Add a layer of the potato/onion/pancetta mixture then take half the reblochon cheese (cut through the middle) and place it on top.
- Add another layer of the potato/onion/pancetta mixture and top it off with the other half of the reblochon.
- Cook in the oven for 25 minutes at gas mark 5.
- Serve and imagine that you’ve spent a day on the slopes getting a full body workout.
My good friend Maryana painted the image - isn't she talented? It was so kind of her to oblige me, thank you Maryana! xx