Les Greedy Cochons Raclette Night

20140417_212728

Almost a year ago, when I’d been blogging about cheese for just a few weeks, I was invited to a Fondue Secret Supper Club by a North London couple called Les Greedy Cochons. It felt terribly daring at the time, partly because it was in the badlands i.e. north of the river and partly because Secret Supper Clubs sounded far too hip for the likes of me, who hadn’t been out for the best part of a year since I had my youngest baby. I was most definitely not feeling like a hipster.

Nevertheless, in the name of cheese correspondence, I ventured forth into the lights of the gleaming metropolis, bottle of Gewürztraminer in hand. The result was an evening of authentic Swiss fondue and jolly company (fortunately there was only one person there young enough to actually be my child). The half of Les Greedy Cochons present that night was a Swiss man with an evident passion for all things food-related and so, as I swigged back the last of the kirsch and staggered off into the night, we swore to meet up again over some fromage.

fondue kirsch secret supper club

So when I was invited as a guest to Les Greedy Cochons Raclette Night, I jumped at the chance, partly to say hello again and partly because I had never tried Raclette before. The website Raclette Corner describes its namesake as ‘a Swiss cheese dish, a cultural land mark, the name of a cheese, a table top appliance, a dining experience, a great time!’ which seems to have it covered. The cheese Raclette is a semi-firm, salted cheese made from cow’s milk which has a slight feet-ish smell about it but nothing you’d go so far as to describe as pungent.

The dish Raclette is thought to date back as far as 700 years, when it was originally called Bratchäs, Swiss-German for ‘roasted cheese’. Swiss cow herders from the Valais region would move cows to the Alpine pastures for grazing and they needed food that was both transportable and wouldn’t spoil in the hot summer months. In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, as it started to melt, scrape it on top of some bread or potatoes. This is where it gets its name from – in French racler means ‘to scrape’.

With the Swiss credentials of Les Greedy Cochons (or 50% of them, at any rate) there was no danger of things being anything less than authentic. The cheese was from Jumi in Borough Market who produce it in the Emmental valley, just a few miles from Bern and intriguingly state that ‘the milk is transported with the help of tractors, horses or even a dog.’ We loaded our plates with gherkins, pickled onions and salami and then waited for Monsieur Le Greedy Cochon to add new potatoes and a rich gooey layer of melted Raclette. Here is his whopper of a Raclette machine:

20140417_212817

And here is the first portion of Raclette, sprinkled with some smoked paprika:

raclette cheese with potatoes salami and gherkins

It’s fair to say that I made quite a Greedy Cochon of myself and, I think, managed to clock up seven helpings. But seeing as everyone around me seemed to be keeping pace I like to think that it was the deliciousness of the food rather than my gluttony.

If you fancy joining Les Greedy Cochons on one of their Raclette nights, you can find them at Les Greedy Cochons or @Greedy Cochons. There is also talk of a Continental/British cheese-off so watch this space!

About these ads

10 Comments

Filed under cheese events

10 responses to “Les Greedy Cochons Raclette Night

  1. A nice raclette evening belongs to our winter nights´no less than a warm fire – so cozy! I love it best with just cheese, ham, potatoes , and gherkins, but here in Germany , variations with all kinds of food are popular. Have you tried Fondant wine with it? It´s a Swiss wine specialty and super-delicious with Raclette. Raclette may be one of the few things why I like winter!

    • This was my first excursion into the world of Raclette so no, haven’t tried Fondant wine (haven’t even heard of it before!) There’s definitely something comforting about melted cheese – so perfect with the potatoes, salami and pickles.

      • Yes, I guess Fondant is not that popular (neither here in Germany), although very tasty with Raclette and cheese fondue. I happen to know it since I spent some time in Switzerland during medical school….so in case a bottle of Fondant crosses your path in some winery, maybe you can give it a try with our next Raclette! Cheers & have a nice day!

  2. Cat Banks

    I went to this too! Crazy, We must have been there at the same time? I think there was only one? I thought it was fun but All-you-can-eat was a little misleading seeing as they ran out? Next time you Raclette it up, try it with a selection of cold meats, nice to have a bit of variety! ps v interested in a french british cheese off- let me know!

    • How funny! I was at the second one in Camden; I think there was one before, in Highgate or similar? They didn’t seem to run out of food at the one I went to, so perhaps they had stocked up more…unless you were at Camden, in which case the fact that I had seven portions might be something to do with it…sorry ;)

  3. North London the Badlands? As a former Islingtonian I have to take exception! But the raclette sounds gorgeous. Makes me wish I still lived near enough.

  4. Ahh, lovely! I was invited by a French transplant to one of those over here, not long ago. Decadent, delicious and makes my mouth water to think of it. I couldn’t do it too often as I can’t stop eating once I start. Back to the cottage cheese and feta for now :)

  5. I’ve never had raclette but we used to love our cheese fondues when we were children ☺️

  6. When my sister was younger, whenever you asked her what she wanted for dinner her reply was always “raclette”. The machine (one of those round thingies that you slide your little tray into to melt the cheese) is still loitering in the garage and I suspect she would have a fit if it came out. I was never as enthusiastic as she was, but then again . . . some melted European cheese on top of a gherkin. Lovely!

  7. It’s heading into winter in Australia so maybe I should have a raclette night down under…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s