Happy St Patrick's Day! I don't know much of anything about Irish food, except that it involves potatoes, corned beef and cabbage. And anything involving Guinness has to be Irish, right? At least that was my thought process when I picked this recipe for dinner. I briefly considered making short ribs braised in Guinness, but that just seemed so heavy. So I went to Epicurious and searched recipes using Guinness and this was what I came up with. Apparently a rarebit (or a Welsh rarebit) is toast topped with a sauce made of beer, mustard and cheese. Who knew?
Anyway, I'm not sure how I felt about this dish. Alex really liked this. I love toast with fried eggs. I love eggs benedict. Bread with any sort of runny egg yolk is awesome. That holds true for this dish. And I really liked the pickled onions with watercress too. They gave the dish a nice brightness and acidity. Like the parsley salad most restaurants serve with bone marrow, they also served to cut through the richness of the dish. Plus the pickled onions provided some sweetness. The element that confused me was the sauce. I'm not sure if I could taste the Guinness in the cheese sauce. Nor could I really taste that the cheese was actually extra sharp white cheddar cheese. It was savory and a little earthy. Also as it started to cool down the sauce started to congeal a little. I think the dish definitely needed a sauce. But I have to admit that I like an old-fashioned hollandaise and eggs benedict better.
Recipe after the jump!
Stout and Cheddar Rarebit with Fried Eggs
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup Guinness Extra Stout (without foam)
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 large eggs
4 thick slices peasant bread (preferably sourdough)
1/2 pound extra-sharp white Cheddar, grated
1 bunch watercress, coarse stems discarded
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bring vinegar, granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in onion and transfer to a small bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally.
Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and dry mustard and cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Add beer, water, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce and simmer, whisking, until just thickened.
Fry eggs and toast bread. Reheat sauce, then remove from heat and gradually whisk in cheese until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Top each slice of toast with cheese sauce and 2 fried eggs. Toss watercress with oil, a pinch of salt, and drained pickled onions and arrange on top.