Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Mutant rarebit

Doing some rarebit testing here at Love To Eat HQ. I always thought calling fancy cheese on toast a rarebit was a bit strange actually. Throw in the Welsh bit - to give it it's full name, and it starts to get really confusing. I've just done about two and a half minutes research into the name (thanks Google), and it turns out the origins are pretty unclear anyway. Basically it's to do with it being poor man's food, and the Welsh being poor, and the English not liking the Welsh. This is all back in 1742, of course. Nowadays, a poor man wouldn't be bothering to make a cheese sauce to pour over his bread. And the Welsh and English are more or less as poor as each other.


So I made a mutant version yesterday, not based on historical archives, or what I just read on Wikipedia, or the BBC, or even Delia, but on what was available in my local corner shop. The cheddar looked dull as dishwater, but there was a slab of West Indian-style processed cheese which ended up in the basket along with a bottle of Guiness. Add a slosh of jerk sauce in place of Worcestershire, and there you have it. I guess you might call it a Deptford Rarebit.

The Deptford Rarebit

Big knob of butter
Small handful of flour
Splash of Guiness (from a bottle to be really authentic)
Some jerk sauce
West Indian processed cheese e.g. Dunns River
Another cheese that actually has some flavour (I used Parmesan)
Decent bread

Heat the grill and lightly toast your bread. In a sauce pan, make a roux by melting the butter, and stirring in the flour until fully combined. Gradually add the Guiness a dribble at a time, stirring as you go, until it's a thick sauce. Add the jerk sauce and stir. Add the two grated cheeses, reserving a bit of the strong tasting one for now - I used a ratio of about 70:30 processed to real. When it all looks like a big thick cheesey sauce, pour over the bread. Sprinkle the remains of the strong tasting cheese on top, and grill until bubbling and starting to brown.

Serve with the remaining Guiness on the side.