NEIL'S RECIPES: SECRET HERB GARDEN BEER RAREBIT

by Cafe St Honoré in


"To some, this may just be cheese on toast but this humble supper dish is elevated by making a roux for the sauce using the wonderful nettle and sticky willy beer made by the great Hamish and Libby at The Secret Herb Garden. If you haven't been yet, go! Good bread is vital for this recipe, so use a proper sourdough or a rustic farmhouse wholemeal. And serve with a crunchy salad with a sharp dressing to cut through that rich cheese. Here I have used Isle of Mull cheddar made by the Reade family. The cows are fed the leftover barley from the distillery in Tobermory. What a lovely story."

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Image: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

4 slices of really good sourdough

250ml Secret Herb Garden Sticky Willy and Nettle beer, any other artisan beer would be fine

1 tablespoon of butter

1 tablespoon of flour

1 handful of grated Isle of Mull cheddar

1 heaped teaspoon of Arran mustard

Good salt and pepper

A splash of Worcester sauce, optional

METHOD 

Melt the butter in a pot and add the flour to make a roux. Cook this for a couple of minutes then add the beer a glug at a time until the mix is nice and thick. Add the mustard and bring to the boil, stirring continually. You may need a whisk.

Add the grated cheese and a splash of Worcester sauce and taste for seasoning whilst the cheese is melting in the sauce. 

This mixture keeps well for a few days in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Toast the bread on one side then spread the cheese sauce onto the untoasted side, and grill until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve with some endive leaves coated in a sharp dressing.