Buck rarebit with ham

Valentine Warners recipe is full of strong, punchy flavours. Sandwiched between ham and egg, his version of a rarebit beats simple cheese on toast hands down
By Valentine Warner
Buck rarebit with ham
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 25 g butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • 100 ml stout
  • good splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 150 g mature cheddar cheese
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 duck eggs
  • 2 large slices good brown farmhouse bread
  • 2 slices good quality unsmoked ham

Tips and Suggestions

The sauce can be used immediately once made, but if you have the time to cool it in the fridge, when you apply it to the toast cold, the outside browns under the grill forming a delicious skin that does not allow the middle to run out.


1. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan on a low heat. Stir in the flour and blend it into the butter with a whisk. Cook for about 30 seconds, but do not brown the flour. Pour in the stout bit by bit, whisking all the time until you have a nice smooth, brown, creamy paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in about 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Mix in the mustard then the grated cheese, then stir over a low heat until the cheese has melted. Season with some black or cayenne pepper, or both -theres no need for salt. The sauce should be quite thick.

2. Preheat the grill to high. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, then break in the duck eggs and fry until the whites are cooked and the yolks still runny.

3. Meanwhile, toast the slices of bread, but not too much. Cover each slice of toast with a slice of ham, then top with the rarebit mix in a thick layer so that everything is well covered. Put the topped toast under the grill and grill until your rarebit is browned and bubbling. Remove and top with the duck eggs.

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