Raclette is one of those tasty dishes that’s comforting and hearty, delicious and filling, cheesy, meaty and tasty. This easy recipe for raclette is perfect for sharing and utterly scrumptious – it’s alpine soul food…
History of raclette
Legend has it that in the bitterly cold winter months in the mountains, shepherds would light a fire to warm themselves. One day, a shepherd put his cheese too close to the hearth and it started to melt. Quelle horreur. The shepherd scraped up the melted cheese and ate it, only to find it was delicious in its melted state. He told his friends and the habit caught on. It really caught on. These days you can even get a raclette machine to pop on the table for all to sit round, licking your lips in anticipation.
Originating in Switzerland, the dish is considered as French as croissants (which originated in Austria).
How to make raclette
This is not a fancy haute cuisine dish, it’s very easy to make, unpretentious and delicious. If you don’t have a raclette machine, you can still make this by popping your cheese in a metal dish under a grill and scrape it over the potatoes and cold meat that make up the recipe.
Ingredients for 4 people
800g Raclette cheese (you can also use Gruyère, Emmental or even cheddar)
600g cold meats – ham is most traditional, but you can add prosciutto and salami.
2kg new potatoes
Pickled silverskin onions and gherkins (cornichons).
Boil the new potatoes until soft. Cut into slices.
Fry the bacon and cut into small pieces. Mix with the potatoes and pickled veg. If you’re not keen on pickled vegetables you could gently fry some onion instead.
Lay the cold meat out on plates the potato mix.
Melt the cheese on a raclette machine or under a grill (broiler) in a metal dish until it’s bubbling then scrape it over the top of the meat, pickles and potatoes.
In France it’s often served with a green salad and sharp vinaigrette dressing.
More delicious cheesy dishes
Gougères – the snack you can’t stop eating!
Flammekueches – pizza style tart also known as tarte flambé from Alsace that’s totally moreish
Tartiflette – another alpine soul food dish
Three-cheese fougasse bread from Provence