Hawksmoor’s ultimate toasted cheese sandwich

The cookbook Hawksmoor at Home is probably the only collection of cooking instructions you need. It provided this recipe for a toasted cheese sandwich. It was a spiffing sandwich.

I admit it is not so much ‘toasted’ as ‘fried and baked’ but who cares when it is so good. Don’t hold back on the amount of cheese you use.

Simple to make, here’s how you do it:

Grate loads of cheese. Most of it should be very mature cheddar, but we also used some Wensleydale and Comte in the mix. Hawksmoor at Home suggest Ogleshield, but that is less easy to get and only does it for me so much.

Finely chop a red onion, two shallots and a green chilli and mix them in with the grated cheese. Spoon this cheese and onion mix between two slices of white bread that have been buttered on the outside. Hawksmoor at Home suggest sourdough bread but that is disgusting so use characterful nice white bread instead. This is how much cheese you’ll be aiming for per sandwich:

How much cheese you need

Fry the sandwich in a pan for two minutes on either side. Should anything leak out just spoon it back inside.

Place the sandwich on a pre-heated baking tray and put it in an oven at 170 Celsius for ten minutes.

Serve with Meon Valley apple juice, or I had a diet coke because it was early. A beezer sandwich that’ll look like this:

The greatest toasted cheese sandwich known to man - made according to the recipe of Hawksmoor at Home

  • Clearly a work of unbridled genius. I will try it forthwith with the truly mind-altering Lancashire Bomb (http://www.britishfinefoods.com/top10/lancashire-bomb).

    I cannot concur with you on the sourdough=disgusting front, but each to his own. (Actually your sentence is ambiguous – perhaps it is Hawksmoor at Home’s suggestion that you use sourdough, that is disgusting, not the sourdough itself. This would be a very interesting thought worthy of discussion over a jolly Givry, think you not?)

  • I’m in more of a mood for a 2010 Santenay, Ricard… The discussion will be gladly held.

    Speaking of which, would you ever be in the aspect of mind for lunch in Winchester? Let me know.

    I think the spam filter doesn’t like you because you give a twitter profile as your URL; a guess I admit.

  • Ricard

    Lucky you – I still have another year to wait before my 2010s start coming in (a few spiffing value Santenays in there too, I might add).

    I’d be delighted to lunch in Winchester – I was there a few times a few years ago and ate a pizza most foul, so I would go with some trepidation. But I’d happily try the Thai restaurant you are so enthusiastic about, or perhaps raid the farmer’s market and try some proper pork. Either way I’d be delighted. Not sure quite how much Burgundy I can carry on the train, however – I might have to hire some sort of strong man to assist me.

    Alternatively we can do a Hawksmoor or similar. Or a place where they’ll let us bring our own wines, and serve us half a cow while we “taste” them.

    I’ve removed the Twitter link – let’s see if the spam filter can be fooled.

  • Jeremy

    Sourdough is “disgusting”? “Use characterful white bread instead”?

    David, you have never shied away from expressing utter bollocks and I am glad that you are not a relativist, because in this case, you are objectively wrong. Sourdough has acidity, it has complexity, it is the very soul of what is bread and great bread has soul like wine has, being the result of a saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation after all. It goes back even further than wine and is culturally as significant and there is no higher expression of bread than well made sourdough.

    I continue to think that “elitist” as applied to this blog is actually ironically applied. Tesco’s wonderbread is just about to make it onto these pages. Probably will be described as “surprisingly characterful”.

  • These days I’m a lot more open minded and relaxed about things. Recently I’ve found I like ginger, mussels, mild cheese, some Rioja, the Moomins and many other things. Hell, I’ve even enjoyed Mouton recently. I still may think there are some absolute truths: Burgundy is best, Clos St-Denis is almost unbeatable, etc, but I’m willing to be swayed on more and more things. So I shall get some of the best sourdough bread I can find and, in all likelihood, I’ll probably like it and not think it tastes rotten and off.

  • Jeremy

    Good. You may try to revel in its acidity, yeastiness, complexity and inherent superior breadiness. Good sourdough is one of my very favorite things in the world and you know I don’t write such things lightly.

  • Ian Black

    In general I love sourdough breads. But I would have to say that I have had a few that were distinctly odd, especially one that was so sour it was almost painful.

    Different bakers will have different sourdough cultures which probably explains the flavour difference – it’s not as if they were using a factory standard preparation, though I’m sure that last statement is about to be contradicted in short order…