I love Rarebit. It should be cheesy and deeply savoury with discernible ale flavours, soft on top with a crunch.
It’s that ideal savoury snack for a winter’s day – comfort food which hits the spot without delivering a whack of stodge. But oh the variations – in price and delivery. We’ve had visitors in the last few weeks so have found ourselves in a variety of cafes across the county, and, for no good reason, I’ve been ordering rarebit. Here, in an entirely unscientific survey are my findings:
Yorkshire Rarebit at the Hepworth Gallery Cafe Bar promised mature cheddar, red onion, Yorkshire Ale and Worcestershire sauce, on a choice of bread at keenly priced at £4.75. We went for granary and were rewarded with doorsteps, more bread than topping – all in all, a bit of a let down. Lovely surroundings though.
The Fat Badger, a pleasant reincarnation of an English pub in the White Hart Hotel in Harrogate, offered the White Hart Rarebit at £6.95. Thinner toast, more topping with an underpinning of mustard, good salad leaves – fine, and went well with the dry, light Orange Pippin Ale from Skipton’s Copper Dragon Brewery recommended by the bar manager.
The eureka moment came in Almondbury’s T & Cake, already one of Squidbeak’s favourite places. Good bread – sourdough lightly toasted, strong cheese with a dryer, deeper ale flavour, and then a sweet smack of chilli spice. Great leaves. Heaven on a plate. And all at £4.50. Chef owner Stephen Jackson calls it Welsh Rarebit as it has Montgomery Cheddar and Guinness in it, but hey, what’s in a name if it’s as good as this? Here’s the recipe….