Below you will find my translation of the blog post and recipe Recette de la Raclette originale on Hervé Cuisine. Thanks to Hervé for the permission to publish this.
In the accompanying #ThatTranslatorCanCook post, I discuss the challenges with translating and cooking this recipe.
Please note that the formatting has not been preserved as I was not able to produce this on the blog. Similarly, I have not copied the images for potential copyright issues.
Original raclette recipe
BY HERVÉ PALMIERI LAST UPDATED 22 JANUARY 2018
Difficulty: Very easy
Preparation time: 15 mins
Raclette is an excellent winter dish, a synonym of togetherness and good times spent with family and friends, where everyone gets to join in. My tips and advice will help ensure you don’t forget anything, and have a successful raclette at home. Which cheese to choose? There is not just one type of raclette cheese, if you look carefully, you’ll find some from Savoy (Raclette de Savoie), from Switzerland (Valais), along with plain, smoked, and mustard flavoured. Try to offer your guests a selection – personally I have a soft spot for smoked raclette. Some will try to melt other types of cheese like Mont D’or, Morbier, or even Maroilles, and indeed, why not?
Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right potatoes, the second key ingredient of this dish, after cheese. They should be firm yet melt in the mouth (they should slice easily but not turn into mash), with a thin skin for those who enjoy eating them with the skin on. Personally, I like mild and slightly sweet varieties like the red-skinned Roseval. Choose firm, waxy potatoes like Charlotte, Bintje, Roseval, Pompadour, Franceline, or Rattes.*
My little bit extra: put quail eggs on the table, cooking them in the little pans is lots of fun!
Raclette cheese: allow 150 to 200g per person, or 5 to 8 slices depending on the size
1.5kg potatoes for 4
Cold meats: use cured or regular ham, bacon, salami, mortadella, coppa ham, or why not chorizo, and slices of chicken or turkey. Prepare around 150g per person.
Condiments: gherkins, pickled white or red onions, capers, as well as walnuts, mustard, and caramelised onion chutney, fig jam or quince jelly, for those who enjoy the sweet and savoury contrast.
Herbs like oregano, thyme, and Herbes de provence (optional)
Ideally fresh vegetables like tomatoes, green salad.
Prepare the cheese (slicing it if necessary), cold meats (chopping into small slices), and the condiments
Cook the potatoes whole, ideally steaming them, or boiling them
Set the table with the raclette machine, each guest serves themselves and melts their cheese slices in the small pans before coating their potatoes with it.
Tips for a successful raclette
Raclette is a Swiss cheese made from cow’s milk, which comes either in large wheels, or more often already sliced and ready to use. Eat it melted, this is when it’s at its best. You can find several types, personally I prefer smoked raclette cheese
Take the cheese and cold meats out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start cooking so that they have time to reach room temperature. This will help the cheese melt better, and make the meats tastier.
Take some time to set the table, to ensure a welcoming and festive atmosphere. Divide the potatoes, cheese, and condiments into several dishes dotted around the table, as there’s nothing more annoying than having to beg for a slice of cheese every 5 minutes
A nice dry white wine goes well with raclette.
Invest some time in the vegetables and the pickled condiments as they balance out the richness of the melted chees and the saltiness of the meat. Have a go at mixing sweet with savoury – a bit of caramelised onion chutney or jam can go very well with cheese
In terms of equipment, at least 1 pan per guest, otherwise you’ll have to wait your turn
*For UK-based readers, Charlotte, Anya, or new potatoes would be good options.