At its simplest Raclette is a soft alpine cheese that is traditionally served melted, over boiled potatoes.
However, the practice of using a tabletop grill to melt Raclette cheese and prepare a variety of other foods is a popular winter past-time across the German speaking world.
As with many other Americans however, the world of Raclette is still somewhat foreign. The “pack in the box” instructions that accompany American Raclette grills sell short this lovely way of grazing over melted cheese and meats. And while I preface any directions that follow with the disclosure that, “there is no wrong way to use a Raclette grill,” I have certainly had Raclette nights go better than others, and my hope is to catalog which approaches work best.
|Traditional Ingredients – The essentials for every Raclette night!
|Small Potatoes – waxier, the better. Ideally gold fingerlings.
Raclette Cheese – 250g a person… This is a must if you are eating Raclette as a meal
Charcuterie (Specifically Prosciutto, Salami, or Bündnerfleisch – if you’re in the mood for ordering exotic meats)
|For the grill:
Your favorite meats – cut into bite size pieces – to be thrown on the grill (steak, pork, chicken)
Bratwurst – less typical, but always a hit.
But the real key to unlocking the Raclette grill is the addition of dips and sauces. This was something that I only first discovered after moving to Munich. While delicious, Raclette toppings can come across as rather same-y after a while. Here are the dips and sauces that really bring a Raclette night to the next level.
|Garlic & Chive Dip
1 clove Garlic – finely chopped
1 Tbsp Parsley
a few stalks Parsley
a few stalks Chives
|Spicy Tomato Dip
1 Tbsp Ketchup
1 dash Tabasco
1 Tbsp Hot Paprika