How to Make Raclette

PinterestFacebookTwitterTumblrStumbleUponYummly

How to make raclette, a traditional Swiss dish, at home with a raclette grill.

raclette grill with raclette cheese

Cheese has featured quite a bit on my blog lately, and for good reason – we are coming into winter here in Switzerland! As soon as the nights start to become a bit chilly, the Swiss can be seen tucking into a bubbling pot of Cheese Fondue or sharing a raclette dinner with friends.

The word raclette is both the name of a type of Swiss cheese and the name of the dish itself.

raclette cheese

Raclette Cheese

Raclette cheese is traditionally made from cow’s milk, although you can also find some varieties made from sheep’s milk. It is a semi-hard cheese which is thickly sliced (less than 1 cm) and used for melting and grilling; it is not intended to be eaten raw and it doesn’t taste great raw anyway! The mild varieties have a characteristic pungency, so it is definitely a dish for cheese-lovers only.

These days, supermarkets and cheesemongers stock a wide selection of raclette cheese, from the classic mild variety, to those flavoured with peppercorns, chillies, or garlic. My favourite are the smoked raclette cheese and the blue cheese.

melted raclette cheese

Raclette Grill

At home, a raclette meal is served using a table-top grill, like one pictured in these photos. The cheese is melted in small pans called coupelles, which are placed under the heating element. The  grill plate is used to cook meat and vegetables, although we have eaten with friends who don’t use the grill plate at all.

And this is partly the reason why I love raclette so much – you can customise the meal to your liking and serve the melted raclette cheese with whatever you like. Haven eaten raclette in the homes of many Swiss friends, I have taken a few ideas here and there to make the dish my own.

raclette grill with meat vegetables melted cheese

My favourite version, however, is the one which my Vietnamese family created when they first moved to Switzerland in the 1960s. A Vietnamese dish often reserved for special occasions is grilled beef cooked at the table, similar to a Korean barbecue, called Bò Nướng Vỉ. The beef is typically marinated in lemongrass and other common Vietnamese flavourings, and served with vermicelli noodles and lots of fresh herbs and salad. My family like to combine this traditional Vietnamese dish with raclette – both dishes use the same table-top grill after all! It’s an unusual combination, especially eating cheese and potatoes with lemongrass beef. But for me, it’s the best of both worlds!

I haven’t eaten my family’s version of raclette in years, but what I do like to do is grill lots of vegetables. Cheese and potatoes on its own can be quite heavy and filling, and I think the addition of grilled vegetables make it more of a complete meal. These days, we also like to cook sausages for the children, and sometimes I will buy a nice piece of beef fillet if we have guests joining us.

Raclette is a really fun meal to share with friends and family, and what I love is that it is a stress-free dinner! There is no cooking in advance – except to boil some potatoes – and the preparation is limited to chopping up a few vegetables and plating up the cheese.

And don’t think you need to eat raclette with a lot of people; I have always wanted a mini raclette grill for two – they just look so cute!

How do you like to serve raclette at home?

melted raclette cheese with potatoes

How to Make Raclette

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com

Ingredients

  • 150-200g (5-7 oz) raclette cheese, per person, sliced into 8mm slices
  • new potatoes, boiled
  • rashers of bacon
  • beef fillet, sliced thickly
  • chipolata sausages, or other small pork sausages
  • courgette (zucchini), sliced thickly
  • red capscium (bell peppers), sliced thickly
  • cornichons or pickled gherkins
  • pickled baby corn
  • barbecue sauce and/or ketchup for the sausages and meat

Instructions

  1. Turn the raclette grill on to medium-high heat.
  2. If you are using bacon, place the bacon rashers onto the grill plate and cook until your liking.
  3. Use the bacon fat to cook the other ingredients.
  4. If you are not using bacon, simply brush the grill plate with some oil.
  5. Place some meat and vegetables on the hot grill plate.
  6. While the meat and vegetables are cooking on the grill plate, place a slice of raclette cheese into the coupelles or small trays, and place them under the heating element.
  7. The melted raclette cheese is usually served over the warm potatoes on your plate, which you should slice just before adding the cheese. But it is also common to place the melted cheese over the cooked vegetables. Some people even put slices of potatoes into the coupelles so that the cheese melts directly on top.  Do as you please!
  8. Be careful to not overcook the meat on the grill plate.

Kitchen Notes

  1. It is entirely up to you what meat and vegetables you wish to serve with raclette.
  2. You could even make the meal vegetarian by grilling only vegetables, or even not using the grill plate and simply making a salad to go alongside.
  3. I like to add half a teaspoon of brined green peppercorns to plain raclette cheese before grilling it. This gives the cheese a spicy kick and saves me from having to buy too many different types of raclette cheese.
  4. Any leftover raclette cheese is wonderful for toasting on bread with ham under the grill. Yum!
  5. You can buy special prongs to hold the hot potatoes so you can peel them easily at the table. However, I prefer to use new potatoes and to eat them with the skin on.
  6. Depending on what is in season, I also like to make the following to cook on the grill plate:
  • asparagus wrapped in prosciutto or thinly sliced bacon
  • mushrooms stuffed with cream cheese (I like Cantadou)
  • thick slices of fresh pineapple

Share your photos!

If you have used this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and using #eatlittlebird

SHOP THIS RECIPE


15 Comments

  1. Lisa Huff 2 November 2017

    Whoah! This has my name written all over it. You can never have too much cheese!

    Reply
  2. Lauren 2 November 2017

    Cheese is a daily thing for me, I love it! This looks so good!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      We also eat cheese on a daily basis. But after a raclette meal, we go a bit easy on the dairy for a few days 😉

      Reply
  3. Jillian 3 November 2017

    These pictures are beautiful and the food looks delicious!

    Reply
  4. Dahn 3 November 2017

    I just love your raclette grill and I HAVE to make some raclette!! This looks like so much fun for a dinner party!

    Reply
  5. Laura 3 November 2017

    Love raclette, we have it a lot here in France. In fact, I though it was French. Anyway it doesn’t matter as long as there is cheese.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 3 November 2017

      Ha ha – I’m sure the Swiss and the French are always arguing about where fondue, raclette, meringue and other dishes originate 😉 My husband is French and grew up eating raclette from time to time. I wonder if the same variety of raclette cheese is available in France?

      Reply
  6. Jen 5 November 2017

    This looks so wonderful! I just bought some raclette cheese and this has inspired me to come up with interesting things to eat with it. I love reading about your family’s merging of two traditions into something even more delicious!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 December 2017

      I hope you enjoyed your raclette meal! I’m always looking forward to our next raclette dinner party – nothing better than melted cheese with lots of potatoes and meat 🙂 I ought to make my family’s version at home as I did really love eating Asian-spiced food alongside the raclette cheese!

      Reply
  7. Lucia 28 December 2017

    Is there a print feature that I don’t see for printing the recipes?

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 30 December 2017

      Hi Lucia,
      Yes, you can print the recipes on my website. Just above the recipe card, you should see a “Print” button which you can press. Sometimes, there might be an ad covering this Print button, but I am working on removing the ad in this space. Sorry for the inconvenience!

      Reply
  8. […] about the crisp air and wooden chalets which makes one crave rich food like Cheese Fondue, Raclette, and this Swiss Macaroni and Cheese with […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *