This may just be cheese on toast, but what cheese on toast it is! Original recipes use powdered mustard, but I like the elegance of Dijon; also try hot English mustard for some bite. This is a great way to use up yesterday’s bread. If your cheddar is cheap and rubbery, and you have some good Italian parmesan in the fridge, substitute 50 g of the parmesan for 50 g of the cheddar. When topped with a poached egg, this is called Welsh Buck.
200 g good-quality cheddar, grated
2 tbsp pale beer
2–3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp butter
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 fat slabs of bread
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat grill to high. Combine cheese, beer, mustard, butter, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce in a pan. Place over low heat and stir until cheese has melted and the mixture is a thick paste; it may not be very smooth, but that’s fine. Cool slightly until needed.
Place bread under grill and toast it on one side. Spread the untoasted side with the cheese paste and return to the grill and cook until browned on top.
Serve immediately with the remaining beer.
Photography by Alan Benson.