Hey there, everyone. Today, we’re going to be working on a rarebit. Or, as it’s sometimes known, a posh cheese on toast.
It’s a quick and simple recipe but not so simple that it’s just slapping cheese onto bread and grilling it. That’s regular cheese on toast and I’d be embarrassed to post anything that basic.
No, today’s recipe involves a proper cheese sauce, with strong, dark, savoury, boozy overtones, just like the traditional british dish. Only, for mine, I’m paying a little homage to my scottish origins and changing up the alcohol.
Instead of beer, I’m using 📽️ The Whisky Sauce Co’s Scotch & Bonnet Beverage 📽️ – Legally not a hot sauce and definitely not a sauce that is hot.
It was, however, rather delicious and utterly perfect for today’s recipe. Just expect it to be rather milder than the last.
So, now that we’re past the intro, here’s what you’ll need for one portion:
2 slices of white bread
125g extra mature cheddar
2½ tablespoons of The Whisky Sauce Co’s Scotch & Bonnet Sauce
2 teaspoons plain flour
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 heaped teaspoon butter
½ a fresh scotch bonnet (optional, any colour)
And a dash of cracked black peppercorn
And it would be remiss of me, considering the holiday that’s just passed, not to mention that you can easily double it up for a night in with your partner. Assuming that they’re down for something simple, strong, rich and comforting.
This is, after all, more of a blob in front of the TV meal, taken to the next level, than anything that you’d normally make to impress. Even if the flavour is utterly astounding.
Whether you are making it for two, though, or simply for yourself, I think it’s about time we got started. By grating the cheese.
Now, I’ve stated “extra mature” in the ingredients today and I’ve done so for a reason. While I would normally favour a standard level of maturity in my cheese sauces, this rarebit is a powerful mix of flavours and, even with such a strong cheese, the bold, dark, rich and malty taste of the scotch & bonnet blend initially overpowers it almost entirely.
Only after that begins to die down do we get to fully grasp the equally rich, creamy yet tart, tang of cheddar that supports those bold starting notes and makes for a satisfyingly smooth finish.
With anything less than “extra”, I just don’t see the cheese pulling its weight here.
But, once that’s all grated, we can set it aside for a moment to toast the bread – Just on one side for now, so that the end result is even.
Place both slices onto a baking tray and pop them under the grill of your oven at full heat. Or the broiler if your american.
In five minutes, they should be curling up slightly and just about starting to brown. Which is where we want them for now.
We’ll toast the other side in a second but first it needs saucing. Which means making our sauce.
Grind the mustard seeds and place them into a pan with everything but the bread and fresh chilli. Heat on medium and keep stirring until all is smooth and combined. Roughly three minutes, by my estimation. It’s a remarkably quick process but the crux of the entire meal.
I used wholemeal flour in mine but, honestly, I really doubt it mattered. The slightly more seed-like flavour would have complimented that of the bonnet beverage, were it able to do so, but it’s far too subtle to make any difference here. It’s merely a thickener to counteract the thin nature of the chilli product that we’re using.
So, now that the sauce is complete, we can spread it on – Onto the uncooked side of our toasted bread. And, should you feel like doing so, sprinkle the results with finely chopped fresh chilli.
I really appreciated the milder flavour of my red scotch bonnet pieces between the richer, stronger cheese and dark chilli sauce but some of you may be more inclined towards yellow peppers. Or want to keep things mild.
It’s an ingredient that won’t make or break the dish, so work with it as you will. I leave its inclusion up to your own personal preference.
What I will say, though, is that waitrose seem to have sold me duds. Their peppers, while flavourful, added nothing noticeable to the tiny
already present in today’s recipe.
I can’t say for sure how hot my rarebit would have been, were the chillies on par with most of their kind, but I can certainly say this: This dish can be enjoyed (without the bonnet) whatever your heat tolerance is. The burn is truly minimal but, even if you crave hotter, the flavour will more than make up for it.
And there’s only one more step before you can eat it.
Simply throw your saucy slices of bread beneath the grill once more and cook for another five minutes, watching as it bubbles and starts to brown.
Cool for a minute or two and there you go, a fantastic fusion of flavours from across the little island that I call home. Just dig in and enjoy the ride.