If you can’t afford truffles, you indulge in Truffade, say the inhabitants of the Auvergne, notoriously among the coldest and most rugged areas of France. Often served with sausages, Truffade is a potato cake flavored with bacon and laden with cheese, a buttress against the worst weather. Nippy Cantal is the local hard cheese, and Gruyère may be substituted.
Heat the bacon lardons in a
Stir in the cheese, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Press down on the potatoes to level them in the pan. Turn the heat to high and let them cook without stirring until the bottom is browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Press on the cake occasionally to hold it together. When done, it should be brown around the edges and starting to pull from the sides of the pan. Take the pan off the heat, run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake, and turn it out onto a warmed platter. Serve hot.
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