Serves: Makes 8 servings
- 16 small Yukon Gold or other boiling potatoes, unpeeled
- 1 to 11⁄2 pounds raclette cheese
- 2 (5-ounce) jars small pickled onions
- 1 (15-ounce) jar French cornichons, or 2 cups chopped sour pickles
- 1 pound assorted thinly sliced cured meat such as prosciutto, bresaola (Italian air-dried beef), speck (Italian brine or smoke-cured ham), and/or serrano ham
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, then cook over low heat for 20 minutes, or until a skewer slides easily into the center of a potato. Drain in a colander, transfer to a baking dish, and keep warm in an oven turned to the lowest setting.
- With a large knife, trim off the rind from the cheese and discard. Use the same knife or a cheese knife to cut the cheese into 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Cut the slices into 3-inch squares and arrange on a platter. Place the platter on the table.
- Drain the onions in a strainer and transfer to a small serving bowl. Drain the cornichons in the strainer, and transfer to a second small serving bowl. Arrange the meats on 1 or 2 platters. Place the pickles and the meats on the table.
- Place the raclette grill on a buffet table or dining table and plug it in. It will take 20 minutes to heat fully. Pile the boiled potatoes on top of the grill portion of the raclette to keep warm, or leave them in the baking dish and place on the table.
- Outfit each diner with a plate. Then invite each diner to place a slice or two of cheese in an individual tray and place it under the heating element for 2 to 3 minutes, until fully melted.
- To eat, slice a potato on the plate and, using a scraper, spread the melted cheese over the potatoes. Add a generous grinding of pepper, if desired. Accompany with the onions, cornichons, and meats.