The Mag

Raclette and Champagne, a revisited duo !

Some people like to claim that their favourite part of the winter holidays is dinner time, when they sit down to comfort food or a mountain dish that has been slow-cooking for hours to pleasantly share with others.  Everyone serves themselves a generous portion leaving their plate overflowing and steaming. We eat potatoes, pass around the charcuterie and enjoy the freshness of a glass of champagne. The straightforward and rustic winter cuisine warms up your heart after being out in the cold and comforts the spirit.

charcuterie board

Ideally, a charcuterie board will comprise three or four different products. It should be thought of as a balanced composition of leaner and richer meats. You can opt for a 100% Italian board with some San Daniel Ham 2 months matured, some Mortadella Bologna Ham, slices of Bresaola and a Tuscan truffle sausage. You can even add a slice of Lardo di Colonnata, an exceptional piece of fatty lard. Raclette itself can also have Italian accents, simply replace the traditional cheese with a 50% mozzarella 50% fontina cheese duo, a PDO product in the heart of the Aosta Valley.  To accompany the dish, opt for a chilled brut champagne. It will be just right to accompany the creaminess of the cheese.

exceptional products

To honour a simple raclette, consider choosing exceptional products. First on the list, Bellota 36 months matured, Spanish ham with exceptional aromatic complexity.  Accompany it with a “Jésus”, the big Lyon sausage, and why not a “ventrêche noire de Bigorre”, one of the tastiest in the world. To keep it simple but also chic, nice slices of thickly cut Paris ham will bring back the taste of real ham that we sometimes forget about.  Choose a good quality raclette cheese made from 100% raw milk. You can choose a truffle flavoured one, or even better, just grate some truffle shavings directly onto a “plain” raclette. Serve with a vintage champagne such as Millésime 2012.

A single product
with a strong character

Another idea to add a new twist to your raclette is to play the one-product card. Take a nice Morteau sausage for example, its smoky taste and generosity are enough to dress it up, especially when it is served with a raclette prepared with Morbier cheese, a real “made in Jura” menu.  Same thing with a Pistachio Lyon Sausage, also available in a truffle version.  You can even try black pudding. In Aveyron, they pair it with a Roquefort cheese raclette. You can also replace the raclette cheese with other more original products such as Reblochon cheese, fresh Tomme cheese and of course the Mont d’Or, renowned for its fondant taste. Charles VII Blanc de Noirs with its vinous notes is particularly well suited to products with strong flavours.

Raclette also goes well with potatoes and condiments...

What would raclette be without potatoes?  Choose potatoes that are firm inside and that “hold together” during cooking, such as,  Amandine, Charlotte, Roseval to add a little colour. However, small new potatoes can also do the trick, as can Rattes du Touquet potatoes.  Being quite firm, they are particularly tasty when they are boiled in water.  Place an assortment of condiments on the table to spice things up and add a little freshness: gherkins, small white onions, Italian-style anchovies and capers, strips of Japanese-style nori seaweed, green olives from Greece, the inspiration is endless. A nice crisp green salad and a fruit-based dessert will be a light finishing touch to the meal.

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