Ham, mustard and parsley tartiflette

 

A little oil, for greasing
1kg waxy potatoes, peeled
1 large onion, peeled
Approx. 3 thick slices of ham (200g), torn
1 whole 250g camembert cheese, torn into 2cm chunks
3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tablespoon to serve
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
200ml hot vegetable stock
300ml double cream (not single as it will split during cooking)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

There is a logical association linking tartiflette to cold French mountains – not many recipes can deliver such a concentration of calories that keeps skiers flying down the slopes until dusk. I would argue that a harsh frost anywhere in the world renders us all in need of a good tartiflette. This one has salty ham and camembert hidden within the potato layers and is ideal for stomachs that require energy loading. A healthy green salad is needed to go with it.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Brush the inside of a generous 2-litre ovenproof dish with olive oil.

Your first job is to do the slicing – after that it's a doddle. Start with the potatoes, which need to be about 4-5mm thick; you need a steady hand and a sharp knife or a food processor.

Next are the onions, again 5mm. Now it's as easy as a dot-to-dot. Start by placing roughly a fifth of the potato slices on the bottom of the ovenproof dish. Season and then layer with roughly a quarter of the ham, onion rings, torn Camembert and parsley.

Top with another fifth of potato slices and, using your hands, apply a bit of pressure to compress the layer. Continue with the other layers until all the ingredients have been used up. By my estimation there will be four layers, and then a final layer of potato slices.

Dot the top with mustard and gently pour over the hot stock and then the cream. Season again. Cover with greased foil (this is important or the foil will stick to the potatoes) and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and sprinkle over the remaining parsley.

Bake, uncovered, for 1 more hour. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it to sit in a warm place for 15-30 minutes before serving. It will still be perfectly hot but everything will have "come to".

Taken from 'Take One Pot' by Georgina Fuggle (Kyle Books, £15.99).

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