This is a traditional french dish – ie. really delicious and loaded on calories. Not something to cook every week, but definitely not to be missed!
You will need some earthenware oven dishes for this, and it is best to make it in portions of two or more. The quantities below are enough for 6 persons.
Start by boiling 6 medium sized potatoes. Leave the skin on as it will add some flavour. In the meantime, chop two large onions and a clove of garlic. Heat some oil in a pan and start frying the garlic. As soon as it begins to brown on the edges, throw in the onions. Add a glass of wine and cook until all the liquid evaporates and the onions are golden brown.
In the meantime, remove the rind off about 450 grams of streaky bacon and dice the rashers. Do not throw the rind away.
Once the onions are done, put them aside and put the bacon bits and rind in the pan. There’s no need to add any extra oil as the fat on the bacon will soon begin melting. Keep an eye on the potatoes.
Fry until golden brown and then scoop out of the pan, leaving the bacon fat behind. Separate the rinds and keep them aside.
Once the potatoes are done, slice them thinly, and brown them quickly in the bacon fat.
The next step is to assemble all the ingredients.
Cut a clove of garlic in half, and rub the oven dishes with it. I used three dishes, each one big enough for two persons to eat from.
Now put an even layer of potato at the bottom.
Followed by the onions and bacon bits.
And cover with another layer of potato. You can grate some nutmeg if you wish.
Now comes the Piece de Resistance! We need to cover the layers with cheese. Lots of cheese. For 6 portions I used 800g, to create a layer of about 1.5cm thick. Top off with a couple of bits of bacon rind.
Place the dishes in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees. Keep an eye on the cheese. Once it has melted and the top is browning, the dish is ready to serve.
Traditionally, this dish is made with Reblochon cheese. Coulommiers is also excellent and much easier to find, but if need be you can also use Brie or Camembert.
The taste is just wonderful, although be warned, it is a very rich dish and only needs a light accompaniment!