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Be inspired every day with Living North
plate of food with cheese, ham, tomatoes and chutney
March 2023
Reading time 1 Minute

Growing up in rural England when a pub meal was a simple affair and, in those days, a bit uninspiring, my go-to choice would likely be a ploughman's lunch

For those who might never have come across this British pub classic, this comprised of a hunk of fresh bread, cheese, ham and pickles, accompanied by an obligatory pint of fine draught beer. This recipe is a homage to those good old days of pub grub eaten around a roaring log fire after a brisk walk in the country. Use a mature Cheddar, or even an aged Cheddar (look for a cheese of around six months in age), but make sure it isn't too hard and crumbly.
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled but left whole
  • 500g mature Cheddar, grated
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150ml beer – something with full flavour
  • 30ml organic apple juice
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • a few drops of Tabasco sauce
  • ham slices, pickled onions, radishes, spring onions, white country loaf, to serve

Rub the inside of your fondue pot with the garlic clove, reserving any left over for use in another dish. Combine the Cheddar and flour in a bowl, making sure the flour is well dispersed throughout the cheese. 

Place the beer and apple juice in the fondue pot on the stovetop and bring to the boil. Simmer for one minute, then gradually stir in the cheese mixture until melted. Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and continue stirring until you have a lovely creamy consistency. Finally add a few drops of Tabasco. 

Transfer the fondue to the tabletop burner and serve with a platter of the ploughman’s accompaniments.

book cover of cheese fondue

Fondue & Raclette by Louise Pickford, published by Ryland Peters & Small (£20) Photography by Ian Wallace © Ryland Peters & Small

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