Cheese melted in ale, leeks braised in cider. This recipe brings all the elements of comfort food together to savour during the cooler months.
50g butter, coarsely chopped
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
200ml dark ale (Little Rivers Brewing Company, Seven Sheds)
250g strong cheddar, finely grated (Southern Sky Cheese Company)
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, plus extra to serve
2 teaspoons English mustard
8 thick slices rye or spelt sourdough bread (Apiece, Manubread, Sandy’s Sourdough)
80ml (1/3 cup) olive oil (Coronea Grove Olives, Mt Direction Olives)
8 eggs (Mooreville Gardens, Mt Roland Free Range Eggs)
To serve: thyme leaves and salad greens (Old School Farm, Seven Springs Farm)
2 tablespoons olive oil (Coronea Grove Olives, Mt Direction Olives)
40g butter, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced (Laos Fresh Farm, Mooreville Gardens, Steve’s Vegies)
150ml dry apple cider (Lost Pippin)
2 tablespoons thyme (Old School Farm, Seven Springs Farm, Tamar Valley Hydroponics)
1. For cider-braised leeks, heat oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and stir occasionally until starting to soften (5-7 minutes). Add cider, reduce slightly then cover, reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until tender (18-20 minutes). Add thyme, season to taste and set aside.
2. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stir occasionally until sand-coloured (2-3 minutes). Meanwhile, warm beer in a small saucepan over medium heat, then gradually add to flour mixture, whisking continuously until smooth. Whisk in cheddar, crème fraîche, Worcestershire and mustard, season to taste and set aside.
3. Preheat grill to high heat. Toast bread, turning once, until golden (1-2 minutes). Spread with leeks, top with cheese mixture and grill until golden (2-3 minutes).
4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, fry eggs in batches until just cooked (2-3 minutes), place on toast, scatter with thyme and serve hot with salad greens.