Delicious Welsh rarebit, perfect for lunch, a snack or supper.
‘Welsh rarebit would be my husband’s desert island food. He once became so obsessive about it that he spent months perfecting his recipe. The result was delicious, and I can happily say he makes a mean rarebit.
But I was lucky enough to do a couple of days’ work experience at St John Restaurant a few years ago, and I’m afraid its version is hard to beat. It’s such a comforting, simple supper dish to whip up, partnered with a green salad.
I also think this recipe nicely puts paid to the notion that many people still seem to have that St John is only concerned with cooking the extreme bits of animals. It does far more than that, creating the most fabulous British food from vegetable, fish and fowl. The restaurant opened in 1994 in a former smokehouse in Smithfield, London, and the dishes served there sent ripples around the world- Fergus opened the door and the food world surged through it’ Thomasina Miers
Welsh rarebit (to feed six)
Extract from Fergus Henderson’s Nose to Tail Eating Published by Bloomsbury in 2004
A knob of butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp English mustard powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
A very long splash of
450g mature strong Cheddar
4 pieces of toast
Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour, and let this cook together until it smells biscuity but is not browning. Add the mustard powder and cayenne pepper, stir in the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce, then gently melt in the cheese.
When it’s all of one consistency, remove from the heat, pour out into a shallow container and allow to set. Spread on toast 1cm thick and place under the grill. Eat when bubbling golden brown. This makes a splendid savoury at the end of your meal, washed down with a glass of Port, or a steadying snack.
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