Welsh Rarebit

Makes 4 toasts
Ready in 15 minutes

  • 4 tablespoons stout (Meantime London stout has a good flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon English mustard
  • a couple of drops of Tabasco
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • 125g strong vintage Cheddar (such as Lincolnshire Poacher or a good salty aged Cheddar – Keen’s and Montgomery’s are both good)
  • 4 slices of simple white or slices from a large round loaf

Rarebit perks up old bread (and tired heads) no end. It has the gooiness and stale bread revivingness of your average cheese on – so long as we’re talking mustard and a bucketload of cheese – but with added spice, salt and booze. Strong, good-quality Cheddar is needed here, and it’s worth seeking out a powerful one, as this is the main event of the recipe. No tiptoeing around… As your teeth sink in, you want to feel a blast of heat and minimal difference in texture between topping and bread base.

1. In a saucepan, mix together the stout, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and Tabasco and set over a low heat. Whisk in the egg yolk and add the cheese, stirring as it slowly melts and becomes a thick paste. Take it off the heat. If the cheese starts to seize and split it’s because it has heated up too quickly and formed clumps. Go slow.

2. Meanwhile, lightly toast the bread on both sides under the grill. Remove and spread thickly with the cheese mixture. Put the toasts under the grill again and cook for 5 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Cool slightly, then serve.

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