Cooking the classics


There are a few essential dishes every cook worth their salt should be able to whip up at the drop of a hat or in an emergency without resorting to a cookbook. These are the backbones of cookery; the Victoria sponge, the bechamel, a quick bread dough, a great standby sauce for pasta.

I’m as guilty as the next for not knowing the ins and outs of all these dishes as my mother did – most of the time I can pass muster in the kitchen but occasionally a dish comes along that for one reason or another I’ve never got round to cooking, like Welsh Rarebit.

I suppose I was always content with good old cheese on toast – but this is a more luxurious version, rich with egg yolks and piquant from the Worcestershire sauce. It is transformed from late night snack into a satisfying mid-week supper, perfect with a green salad on the side.

This recipe comes from my friend Lawrence Keogh at Borough Market’s Roast Restaurant, famous for their modern takes on traditional British dishes, and for doing quite possibly the best roast potatoes in London.

Roast’s Welsh Rarebit

The mixture is best made 24 hours in advance as it matures in flavour

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 500g grated cheddar cheese
  • 5tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 50g English mustard
  • 1-2 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 50ml stout
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 slices of bread


Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning adding more Tabasco if required.

Toast the bread on one side and then spread the other side with some of the mixture.

Cook under a hot grill until bubbling.

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