For many, raclette is simply a part of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Then pans with potatoes and vegetables, which are baked with cheese, are happily pushed into the raclette machine. But anyone who wants to make real Swiss raclette has already made their first mistake here.
With the version of raclette that is well known in this country, which is particularly popular at Christmas and New Year’s Eve, not only cheese is often melted in the small pans, but also all sorts of other things are fried, from peppers to salami to pineapple. Those who are particularly adventurous can prepare pizza or crêpes in the pans, while others grill meat or scampis on the hot stone. But that has little to do with the traditional raclette that comes from the Swiss canton of Valais.
1. Pick the wrong cheese
We start at the base. If you want to prepare real Swiss raclette, you need real Swiss raclette cheese. In addition to the traditional, protected Valais cheese, other types of semi-hard cheese from the Alpine country are also available. The Swiss cheese is matured for around three to six months and is both particularly flavorful and easy to melt, as the ” Club Raclette Suisse ” says. Important: Do not buy the cheese in slices, but in one piece. You will understand why in point two…
Another note: Yes, real Swiss raclette cheese is expensive, but it can be used in its entirety. Some types of cheese contain the preservative natamycin in the rind. If consumed too often, this can lead to antibiotic resistance and should therefore be generously cut away according to “Stiftung Warentest” . So: Better to go straight for the more expensive and really good cheese!
2. The wrong melting
As an alternative to an open fire, raclette can be prepared in a table oven
Once you have found the right cheese, you can start preparing it. But beware: If you want to make Swiss raclette, you can pack your device again straight away. Traditionally, Swiss raclette is not prepared with small pans – but in the oven or directly in the fire.
In the traditional Valais preparation, a whole loaf of cheese is melted over an open wood fire and lightly smoked in the process. Today, however, this method of preparation is almost exclusively found in selected Valais restaurants, as it has been increasingly replaced by the raclette oven since the 1950s, according to the official organization for Valais raclette, ” Raclette du Valais “. In these ovens, the cheese is heated at a distance of about six centimeters until it melts and can be scraped off with a knife.
3. The wrong raclette accompaniment
If you want to make real Swiss raclette, you should say goodbye to excess. Traditionally, there are only boiled potatoes, pepper and pickled cucumbers and onions. No meat, no fish, no other vegetables and especially no fruit like pineapple .
The drinks should be less spartan. In the ” Rheinische Post “, the Swiss Peter Röthlisberger strongly advises against drinking water with raclette. A suitable accompaniment is black tea or white wine. “Raclette du Valais” also has a direct recommendation here: the Valais white wine Fendant.
Also, give a look at our article on How to properly drink caipirinha
This is how the raclette grill and pans get clean again
Why settle for dinner when you can have a little of everything on the table? The selection of vegetables, side dishes, meat, bread, sausage and cheese is probably one of the reasons why raclette is so popular. Less popular is the washing up that waits afterwards. Grill and pans are stuck with oil, cheese and leftovers that are sometimes not so easy to remove. A few tips can help.
Cleaning raclette grills is not for the faint of heart. A bit of patience and sure instinct are required to ensure that all encrustations really disappear and the surfaces are not damaged. The best way to clean a raclette grill and pans depends on the type of grill.
But first important cleaning instructions that apply to every type of raclette device:
- Always allow the raclette device to cool down before cleaning it.
- Clean up immediately after cooling so that the leftovers cannot get stuck and can be loosened more easily.
- Never use water to clean the heated hose portion of the grill.
- Only put parts of the grill in the dishwasher that are expressly suitable for it.
Clean the raclette device with a natural grill stone
Raclette devices with a natural grill stone must not be soaked or placed in the dishwasher. Otherwise the stone slab would become porous and damage the grill. Also, never scrape leftovers and crusts off the plate with sharp or pointed objects. Instead, a damp sponge with a little washing-up liquid is enough to clean the raclette grill.
Clean raclette pans properly
After use, leftovers can be roughly scraped off the pans with a wooden spatula. After that, they should be soaked in hot water to loosen any dirt. For particularly stubborn food residues, you can also add a little washing-up liquid. Then they can be wiped off with a soft sponge. The same applies here: do not use brushes or sharp objects, they would damage the coating.