Perfect Sussex Charmer Rarebit

Welsh_rarebit

Since Hove Museum has closed it’s cafe doors, we have been on the lookout for a replacement proper Welsh Rarebit.   A good Rarebit is not necessarily just posh cheese on toast.  It’s a melting combination of whipped cheese, butter and flour with the lightly nutty aftertaste of a dash of beer and served with a crisp, spicy rocket salad.  Sometimes served with an additional egg, but that’s just overkill in our book.

I’ll say traditionally a good Rarebit has been made with a salty, mature cheddar, but of course, the dish itself was (is!) a Welsh tradition appropriated by the rest of the UK and Cheshire or Caerphilly cheese is often used.  Both Cheshire and Caerphilly cheeses have a slightly citrussy tangy taste, so for us, we prefer something a little more oozy and mildly buttery.

We are very lucky to have THE perfect Rarebit cheese from a local cheesemaker, Rob, from Bookham Harrison over in leafy Funtington, near Chichester meandering at the foot of the South Downs.  Sussex Charmer is a punchy hard cheese which is the lovechild of Cheddar and Parmesan (and certified vegetarian) with the gutsiness of a good Parmesan and the creaminess of cheddar.

How to make a perfect Sussex Rarebit

Important note here…the bread is very important.  A good thick slab of a wholemeal sourdough is delicious and robust enough to withstand a rich sauce without becoming soggy .  But that said, if you prefer white, then just cut it from a good fresh loaf and don’t stint on the thickness of the slice.

Serves 4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 10 minutes

Ingredients

225g Sussex Charmer cheese
25g salted butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (if you’re vegetarian, we had a go at making vegan Worcester sauce – recipe here)
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
4 free range egg yolks
A good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of golden beer – try Long Man Long Blonde or Dark Star Hophead
4 thick slices of bread

Method

Mix the mustard with the beer in the bottom of a small pan to make a paste, then add the butter and about 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce – you can always add more later if you like. Heat gently until the butter has melted.

Mix in the cheese and stir carefully until it has just melted but be careful not to let it boil or burn.  Once you have a sauce, season if required, then allow to cool until just slightly warm, being careful the mixture doesn’t cool to be come solid.

Pre-heat the grill to medium-high, and toast the bread on one side and just lightly toast the other. Beat the yolks into the warm cheese until smooth, and then spoon on to the toast and cook until bubbling and golden.

Serve immediately with a spicy leaf salad and some tiny cherry tomatoes to balance the rich flavours.

 


Visit us at our website

www.finandfarm.co.uk

See where we are in Sussex and all about our news by following us on

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

1496689486_Instagram    email-twitter    email-linkedin    email-facebook

Perfect Sussex Charmer Rarebit

Sussex Organic Eggs from Springles Farm

springles-farm-3

As you know, at Fin and Farm, we are committed to only selling the best produce.  We’ve been asked about certified organic eggs (although all our eggs are absolutely free range and not fed with grain that has added growth hormones or other undesirable chemicals).

When we were researching eggs, the reality of what constitutes free range, in some cases, is pretty thin and welfare statements about access to fresh air, light and space can be manipulated.  This is why we carefully choose our farms and although organic eggs are subjected to tighter regulation, we wanted to see for ourselves before introducing them on our list.

So we visited Springles Farm in Barcombe this week and had the chance to meet Andy, the owner of the farm. He gave us a tour, where we saw the chicken-roosts and the large fields available for the hens to roam.

Andy and his team believe that their hens deserve a happy and healthy life, providing them with an environment that meets their needs. Hens –for example- have easy access to the outdoors (as you can see in the picture above). They must live in a place that gives them fresh air, light, space to exercise, clean food, water and plenty of bedding.

And as taking care of his hens is the most important thing for him, Andy feeds them with high-quality organic feed. The chickens are fed with Humphrey Feeds, which is produced by a family run local company which has 80 years experience of highest quality feed.


 

P1090984

Lots of eggs are misshapen…which you’ll never see in the supermarkets… so we asked Andy about it, and he told us that funny shaped eggs are pretty common.  It take approximately 25 hours for a hen to produce an egg and all kinds of things can affect the shape of the egg… maybe a result of something simple, like being bothered by another hen who’s trying to steal her roosting spot or the food she has been eating. It happens all the time, but these eggs are often rejected by large supermarkets, so we are used to seeing only the perfectly regular specimens – sadly.

P1090985

 

P1090988P1090987

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Storing eggs

There are lots of schools of thought about storing eggs.  It is thought that if you do keep them in the fridge, then it’s best not to store in the door.  The constant change in temperature can cause them to degenerate quicker.

Eggs in the supermarket aren’t kept in the fridge, but they are at a pretty constant temperature and it does seem that the rule of thumb is that keeping them chilled gives them the same consistent temperature to keep them as fresh as possible.

Bring eggs up to room temperature before cooking to stop the yolks from breaking too easily.

Can you freeze eggs?

Apparently, yes – this blog from Home Farmer gives you lots of tips on freezing eggs.  However, it seems that the best use is for cakes as eating a gelatinous egg white doesn’t fill us with glee with our morning scrambled egg.


 

Visit us at www.finandfarm.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Sussex Organic Eggs from Springles Farm