This leafy twist on a Celtic classic makes the perfect brunch, lunch or picnic treat
• 4 thick slices sourdough bread
• 2 large free-range egg yolks
• 150g crème fraiche
• 1 tsp English (!) mustard
• 100g grated mature cheddar
• 30g watercress, roughly chopped, plus a few sprigs for serving
• 4 tbsp chutney of your choice, such as red onion
1. Set the grill to high and prepare a grill pan. Lightly toast your bread.
2. Take a bowl and beat together the egg yolks, crème fraiche and mustard, before stirring in the grated cheddar and chopped watercress.
3. Take your toasted bread and spread one side all over with chutney, ensuring it goes right to the edges.
4. Follow the chutney with a thick layer of rarebit mix, again ensuring that the bread is covered right up to the edges so that it doesn’t burn under the grill.
5. Place the topped rarebit under the grill and cook until the top of the cheese is bubbling and heated right through.
6. Remove from the grill and serve immediately, topped with a few extra sprigs of watercress.
Recipe and imagery courtesy of www.watercress.co.uk
Tanners’ wine aficionado Tiffany Vernon finds this rarebit dish matches both beer and wine just fine
I’d ordinarily pair a Sauvignon Blanc with watercress, as this grape variety can offer a herbaceous character to match the green leaves. However, bearing in mind that this has got mature cheddar thrown into the mix (along with a healthy dose of crème fraiche), the wine needs to have a more rounded and buttery character.
My answer to this style of wine is always Chardonnay! Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay, Auckland (£22.50) is akin to a white Burgundy from New Zealand. It oozes ripe lemons and juicy peaches accompanied by a degree of tropical fruit flirting with the core flavours that evolve into buttery toast entwined with caramelised hazelnuts before a long, creamy finish.
The Kumeu River Vineyard was set up in 1944 and quickly gained a tremendous reputation for Chardonnay of which they make several from various vineyard plots to emphasise the ‘terroir’ in each plot.
Alternatively, you could step away from the wine and enjoy some beers instead. To match this rarebit we need a beer that’s more malty than hoppy. Salopian Brewery Shropshire Gold £2.60 (per 50cl bottle or £27.60 per case of 12) is a copper-coloured bitter that’s deliciously malty with a crisp finish. This multi-award-winning iconic beer is made on the outskirts of Shrewsbury but is known throughout the Welsh Borders and beyond.
Salopian Brewery was first set up in 1994 (then called the Snowdonia Brewery) and was once one of the smallest commercial breweries in the UK. Over time, however, the beers grew in popularity and recognition and therefore it was necessary to expand and change premises from a two-barrel-length site to its current 50-barrel-length site!
So whether you’re a wine lover or a beer buff, you’re in luck with this month’s offerings. Cheers!
• Prices subject to changes in duty. Tanners Wine Merchants have branches throughout the Welsh Borders, in Shrewsbury, Hereford, Chester, Bridgnorth and Welshpool. Tel: 01743 234500. www.tanners-wines.co.uk