Brian's Photo Blog — Article 507
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A Ten-Meat Christmas Grillade
Thursday 31 December 2015   —   Category: Cooking & Food
A Swiss raclette grill is a wonderful and versatile appliance for cooking a number of special, delicious meals right at your dining table.

Of course, the most famous dish, giving its name to the grill, is raclette cheese, which is melted in small trays that sit under the heating element of the grill.

Years ago my family and I started mak­ing mini pizzas in these trays. The raw dough and all of the toppings are in bowls on the table, and each person can build as many custom little pizzas as their stomachs can hold. It is a truly scrumptious and fun way to have a long meal together.

Raclette grills also have a metal or stone tray which sits right above the heating element. Once it gets hot, it is perfect for grilling many types of meats and veg­e­ta­bles, which are usually cut into small pieces.

In the French language this type of grilling at the table is known as a grillade (pronounced GREE-yad, with the ‘a’ sounding like the ‘a’ in father). Once or twice a year, mostly on special occasions, we treat ourselves to this Swiss feast.

For past grillades I have prepared a large platter filled with five to seven different raw meats (see previous photos — opens in new window/tab). For this year’s Christmas grillade last week, I went whole hog with ten different meats, including a few which we had never used before.

I realized that in order to serve that many meats, the usual pottery platter was not going to do. After researching the pos­si­bil­i­ties on, and not want­ing to spend a lot of money, I ended up buying two Rubbermaid Party Platters for about $10 each. They are a bit flimsy and not very elegant, but they worked perfectly for my plans.

Each tray has five compartments, in­clud­ing the round center one where dip usu­al­ly goes. In one tray I piled pieces of raw chicken breast, turkey breast, pork filet, shrimp and linguiça.

The other tray was filled with raw lamb and four types of beef steak: filet, tri-tip, flat iron and hanger. Because all the meats on this tray looked very similar, I knew that I would need to somehow la­bel each type so that we would re­mem­ber what was what.

Perfectionist and computer geek that I am, I decided to make the labels on the computer and print them out rather than write them out by hand. As you can see from the photos, the labels turned out great, and look nice on the white plastic trays.

I recently wrote an article about in­ves­ti­gat­ing flat-iron and hanger steaks. These are two cuts of beef which I have only recently discovered, and so have never served them for a grillade before.

Hanger steak has a very strong flavor which seems a bit overpowering; I don’t think I’ll be buying any more of it. Flat iron steak reminds me a lot of tri-tip, but it might be a bit more tender.

This was the first time I had ever bought lamb meat, although we have had it at a few restaurants over the years. It was good, but I don’t think it was so special that I would want to buy it again.

The rest of the meats were delicious as usual. I have put all 13 shots of the meat trays into the Food & Cooking 2015 album.

I’m sorry that I don’t have any photos to share of the meat on the raclette grill. Although I had intended to take some, I was so busy cooking and eating the meat that I forgot! Maybe next time!

Tomorrow, New Year’s Day, we will be firing up the raclette grill again for another family feast. But instead of meat, this time we will be savoring melted raclette cheese which my Swiss wife brought back from Switzerland in August.

On the upper stone tray we will be grilling veggies, like mushrooms, bell pepper, onions, tomatoes, and more. Hopefully I can remember — and put my fork down long enough — to take some photos!

To explore the subjects of raclette grills, raclette cheese, and Swiss cuisine fur­ther, take some time to check out www.​ Even though they can be a bit spendy, you might want to seriously consider investing in a raclette grill, so you can experience all of these delights yourself at home.

Well, this is my last article for 2015. But it is definitely not my last article about 2015! As I explained in A Thanksgiving-Day Blog Progress Report, I have a huge backlog of photos from 2015 to sort, process and present. I’ll still be reliving and enjoying 2015 for months to come!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 507
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