Raclette Savoyarde

Raclette Savoyarde, along with Fondue, is an arch-typical dishes of the region of the French Alps.  Since it is a very simple dish, it is quick to prepare and depends almost entirely on the quality of the ingredients chosen.  Choose waxy, think skinned new potatoes.  Any mix of sliced hams and sausages may be used, but at least one cured and one cooked ham is traditional.  The meats should be sliced thinly to enhance their flavor and texture.  The importance of using a top quality cheese cannot be overstated, both for the taste and texture of the final dish.  Look for a raw milk raclette cheese aged a least 4 months.  Serve with the white wines of the region, such as a Roussette de Savoie.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

1# 4oz best quality Raclette cheese
1.5# yellow potatoes
12 slices Serrano ham
12 slices Paris ham
16 slices dried hard sausage
16 slices dry wine salami
Cornichons, pickled onions, Dijon Mustard, sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Scrub and rinse the skins of the potatoes. Put the potatoes in a pan that is large enough to hold them easily. Cover by 1 inch with cold water. Add a big pinch of sea salt. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until the potatoes are just tender all the way through.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking arrange the sliced meats on platters. Cut the cheese into slices about ¼ inch thick. Arrange the slices in a heavy pan in a single layer (cast iron works well). Heat the cheese on the rack of a hot oven for about 5 minutes. At the end of this time, the cheese should be beginning to melt but still have firm parts to it.
  3. Drain the potatoes and arrange in serving bowl. Season them with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
  4. Move the cheese from the oven to under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is completely melted and beginning to get a bit crusty. Do not overcook as the cheese will become greasy.
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