Whether you’re eating on the mountain at lunchtime, sampling one of the local restaurants in Sainte Foy on a non-catered chalet evening whilst on a catered chalet holiday, or looking to add a little regional authenticity to your self-catered holiday in Sainte Foy, no weeks skiing is complete without indulging in some classic French mountain gastronomy.
Here’s a round up of our favourite Savoyard dishes, including recipes for those looking to rekindle those fond mountain memories at home or on their next self-catered winter ski holiday…non-cheese lovers look away now!
French & Swiss Alps Traditional Recipes
Originally hailing from Switzerland, this legendary cheese-based delight dates way back to 1699, and makes for a fun, sociable mealtime, as well as being great for groups and those travelling with kids.
In Savoie, our locally-produced Beaufort cheese normally replaces the traditional Swiss Emmental, but the recipe is pretty flexible and can be adapted to include any mixture of these cheeses as well as Gruyère, Comté, and Reblochon, which are all readily available too.
Ingredients (per person)
- 1 x small glass white wine*
- 200g of cheese (grated or cut into small pieces)
- ½ clove garlic
- ½ liqueur glass of Kirsch or Marc de Savoie (a local brandy similar to Grappa)
- Crusty bread, cubed (stale bread works best)
- Grated nutmeg to taste
- Ground pepper to taste
*Apremont is a good choice if using a local Savoie wine, otherwise any dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc will do.
White wine is also a great choice to drink with this dish as it help break down the cheese for digestion.
- Using a fondue or other enamel pan, rub the inside all over with the garlic to season
- Over a moderate heat, add the white wine until boiling, taking care to hold some back (it is easier to add wine later to thin down the melted cheese than it is to add more cheese to thicken a mixture that is too runny)
- Add the cheese to the wine gradually, stirring constantly until the mixture melts and thickens. Add a little more wine if the mixture is too thick, and be careful that it doesn’t catch on the base of the pan
- Add the Kirch and seasoning to taste
- Serve at the table over a low flame with chunks of crusty bread, long forks, boiled potatoes, charcuterie, cornichons and a simple green salad.
Simple to prepare, and a French ski holiday staple, tartiflette is the iconic Savoyard dish, using local Reblochon cheese layered with potatoes, onions, and bacon lardons for an indulgent and satisfying treat.
For an even more local twist, replace the potatoes with Crozets. These small pasta shells are made from buckwheat flour, and Croziflette is a delicious regional speciality unique to the Tarentaise area of Savoie.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 x Reblochon cheese
- 1kg potatoes
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 1 x small glass white wine
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Grated nutmeg (optional)
- Peel and slice/roughly chop the potatoes
- Thinly slice onions
- In a pan, fry the onions and bacon lardons until golden (approx. 3 minutes)
- Add the potatoes, and leave to cook over a moderate heat for 20 minutes
- Preheat oven to 200ºC
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Season with freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg (if desired)
- Slice the Reblochon in two to make two thin rounds. Chop one half and mix in with the potatoes/bacon/onions, and keep the other half to place on top.
- In an ovenproof dish, layer the potato/bacon/onion mixture with pieces of chopped Reblochon, and place the remaining ½ slice of Reblochon on top, crust side up.
- Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the Reblochon is melted and golden
- Serve hot with a green salad on the side
A traditional peasant dish, Raclette (from the French verb racler, meaning “to scrape”) is a semi-firm cows milk cheese, eaten either sliced or melted. A little trickier to re-create at home, this dish is normally eaten by scraping the melted layer from the crust of a large wheel of cheese, using a wooden scraper.
You may be lucky enough to have a Raclette machine in your Première Neige chalet, but if not, these heated lamps can be seen adorning the tables in the local restaurants, and can also be hired in-resort if you are self-catering.
Like many of these cheese-based delicacies, it is best enjoyed with salad, fresh bread, charcuterie, pickles, and a crisp glass of local white wine.
Diots de Savoie
These locally-made sausages come in several varieties, and are served cooked or dried to be eaten hot or cold.
The most popular recipe boils them with onions and local Savoie white wine to be served with potatoes, polenta or crozets.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 6-8 diot sausages
- 30g butter
- 500ml white wine (Apremont, Joigneux Blanc or Chignin are good local options)
- 1tbsp flour
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 onions
- 1 shallot
- Cook the diots in a pan with butter until golden brown, and put to one side
- Thinly slice onions and shallots and add to the butter in the pan
- Sprinkle over flour
- Add the white wine, diots, thyme and bay leaves, and cook in a covered pan for 40mins
- Add additional white wine or water if necessary
- Serve with polenta, potatoes or crozets
Look for a nice local Gamay red wine to enjoy with this dish.
There’s no doubt that with the array of fabulous local cheeses, cured meats and tipples, these recipes inspire memories of the mountains, snowy landscapes, warm open fires and shared fun with friends and family.
Already booked into a Premiere Neige self-catered property?
If you’re booked in for a stay in one of our self-catered properties in Sainte Foy and don’t fancy cooking, or haven’t had time to try these recipes, but would like to taste them, you can always order a take-away from our partners Hus.ki. They do a fabulous Tartiflette as well as many other local dishes.