Grilled and ale











It’s a week since Christmas Day and still there are leftovers. Boxes of chocolates, tubs of Turkish delight, scraps of smoked salmon, bits of cheese, so many bottles of gin, wine and . I eye the fridge like a battle-scarred warrior, ready for one last round. But if I could vomit up my digestive system and leave it in the corner for a week, so I really, physically couldn’t eat anything else, I’d do it with joy and a little celebratory dance.

The feast is also getting a bit tired. The magic has gone and these last little bits – the bits that no one wanted but that we’re going to eat because throwing away food is wrong – need some help to make them delicious. This is where English Cookery New & Old by Susan Campbell comes in.

In a chapter headed An Easter Lunch in Gloucestershire (I like to segue seamlessly from one Christian festival to another whenever I can), Campbell gives a recipe for Cheese and ale that’s good for using up cheese that has gone hard. It also needs toast, which takes care of any stale bread.

The original recipe serves 6, but I can’t imagine serving it up to anyone for lunch. Soaking the toast in warm ale makes it soft and mushy, so you can practically scoop it up with a spoon. It’s the sort of meal you eat on a Sunday evening after a heavy lunch (or after a heavy week) with plenty of sharp, vinegary pickles and the rest of the beer.

Grilled cheese and ale
Serves 1

50g strong, hard cheese (such as Cheddar or Double Gloucester)
1 tsp mustard (Dijon or wholegrain)
1 thick slice stale crusty bread
100ml ale (I used London Pride

1 Preheat the grill to high and toast the bread on both sides until it’s golden. Place on a plate (or halve and arrange in a small lipped dish like I did).

2 Heat 1/2 the ale in a small pan or in a metal ladle until it’s steaming. Pour it over the toast – the bread will soak it up. Slice the cheese and lay in a heatproof dish. Dot with the mustard, then pour over the remaining ale. Grill for 2–3 minutes until golden and melted. Pour the melted cheese and ale over the toast. Season with black pepper and serve with pickled onions, cornichons and the rest of the beer.

Tagged with: BeerCheeseEnglishVegetarian

0 Responses to Grilled cheese and ale

  1. Wendy says:

    Thank you! JUST what I needed to read…. just what I need to do with the left overs in my fridge. Tomorrow night’s supper, I think.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Hurrah! Glad to be of service. And just clicked on your link and seen your post on Jansson’s Temptation – I love that dish so much. I’m going to have to make it.

  2. Nancy says:

    I love your dishes. I’m not always familiar with all the ingredients but figure it out eventually. Cheese and ale! This is definitely one I will try. Thanks!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nancy Proctor and ginandcrumpets, ginandcrumpets. ginandcrumpets said: New Post before bed: Grilled cheese and ale: Easy comfort food: […]

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