The dish from Savoie takes its name from the cheese ‘La Raclette’ and the grill named after the cheese.
The raclette grill is placed in the centre of the table and then everyone melts their own slices of cheese in the little individual compartments. Once bubbling and melter, you pour it over boiled potatoes and eat with a selection of charcuterie (cured meats) and a green salad.
- 100-200g per person of raclette cheese
- 6-8 small new potatoes (chat) or 2 medium desiree potatoes per person and a little butter +
- parsley/chives to decorate
- selection of charcuterie – a couple of slices of each per person is usually sufficient:
- parma ham or prosciutto thinly sliced
- ham cut in thick slices
- bresaola could work or other cured meats
- mixed green salad (mesclun or mixed leaves) w/ a grainy french dressing
- optional – a selection of other vegetables to grill on the top of the machine
You will need to buy or borrow a raclette grill – it has little individual trays where each person can melt their own cheese before pouring it over their potatoes. On the top there is a flat grill where extra vegetables can be cooked at the same time to accompany the rest of the meal. You could try asparagus, red peppers, courgettes, mushrooms etc.
Prepare each of the following … and place everything on the table with the raclette grill in the middle. Whilst you are cooking the potatoes prepare the other elements.
Boil the potatoes – either keep the skin on or peel before if you prefer. When they are cooked put a little butter on and some herbs to decorate. Serve in a bowl on the table.
Make a mixed green salad and dress with a simple mustard dressing (try mixing 1 part red wine vinegar with 3 parts extra virgin olive oil, some grainy or dijon mustard + seasoning to taste). If you fancy a more elaborate salad that’s fine … but the raclette cheese needs to be the centre of attention so don’t overpower your salad.
Most delis will slice your raclette ready for you. It should be about 3-4mm thick. Present the sliced raclette cheese on a plate with the selection of charcuterie.
Make sure the raclette grill is nice and hot and then get everyone to help themselves to the accompaniments and melt their cheese one slice at a time under the grill.
The whole social side of this dish makes it. Be sure to serve a fruity white wine with it or if you prefer, a very light red wine. If you can get it, then drink a wine produced in Savoie which suits this dish perfectly.
Find out more about the French Alps.