If you’re feeling lazy, just lay some cheese on some toast, and grill it. I won’t judge you. But if you’ve ten extra minutes to spend on your supper tonight, you might want to make this deliciously savoury rarebit, flavoured with beer and shallots.
Welsh rarebit (called Welsh rabbit in some versions) used to be served by the Edwardians as a savoury – a course to be tucked under the straining waistband just after pudding. If you cool this rarebit on a cake rack (to keep the toast crisp), remove the crusts and slice the rarebit into little squares, it also makes a great canapé when speared on a toothpick with a cherry tomato.
To make three generous slices you’ll need:
3 slices seedy bread
400g sharp cheddar cheese (for extra cheesy bite, use a mixture of cheddar and parmesan)
5 sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 level teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use less if you want your rarebit to be less spicy)
2 tablespoons beer (use something strongly flavoured, like a real ale)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
A few twists of the pepper grinder
Toast the bread lightly until just golden. Grate the cheese and the shallot finely, chop the tomatoes into tiny dice, and mix with the other ingredients. (The mustard will not taste aggressively mustardy, but reinforces the cheesiness of the cheese.)
Spread the mixture evenly on the pieces of toast, making sure you cover the whole slice right to the edges. Be careful to make the covering a little thicker in the centre of the slice to avoid run-off. The cornflour will stop the beer from making the cheesy paste too wet. Place the slices of bread under the grill for five minutes or until golden. Garnish with more of the sun-dried tomatoes, and serve immediately with a glass of the beer.