By theguardian |

Andi Oliver's three cheese and caramelised leek bread and butter pudding

This recipe is pure cheese indulgence – gooey, happy-making goodness with a little smoked chilli rarebit kick. It’s a great way to use up any bits of cheese you have in the fridge – and day-old bread never tasted so good. Serve a fat slice of it with crisp lemony leaves, or on the side of sticky slow-roast lamb or stout-braised beef short rib.

Serves 3-4

For the caramelised leek
leek 1, finely sliced
onion ½ large, finely sliced
unsalted butter 10g

For the spring onion and garlic oil
spring onions 2
garlic 4 cloves
rapeseed oil

For the pudding
eggs 2
double cream 350ml
parmesan 80g, grated
gruyere 80g, grated
mature cheddar 120g, grated
unsalted butter 60g
sourdough bread 280g, sliced (about 8 medium slices) – slightly stale works best

For the chipotle rarebit
chipotle paste 1 tbsp, or any smoked chilli paste, I like a smoked harissa
egg yolks 2
English mustard 1 tsp
mature cheddar 160g
worcestershire sauce a good glug
stout 100ml, I use Guinness, but any dark rich ale will also work

Preheat the oven to 170C fan/gas mark 5.

For the caramelised leeks, cook the leek and onion in the unsalted butter with a little salt and pepper on a low heat for 30-40 minutes, until nice and dark and sticky.

Next, blitz together the spring onions and garlic with a little rapeseed oil until smooth.

For the pudding, whisk together the eggs, cream and grated cheeses, then stir through a quarter of the caramelised leek, along with the spring onion-garlic oil. Season, and then give it a good mix up and set to one side

Butter both sides of the sourdough slices and arrange them horizontally in a deep baking dish. As you build layers, add a spoonful of the remaining caramelised leeks, a spoonful of the cheese mix, a good pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper in between.

Next, slowly pour the remaining cheese mixture over the layered bread – give it a little shake to really get it into all the gaps. Set aside and allow to soak in for 5-10 minutes, then press down the top a few times with both hands to compress the bread a little, then pour over the remaining sauce so everything is coated.

Slip into the hot oven for 30-40 minutes, or until set with a golden-brown crust. Remove and allow to cool for 10-20 minutes, then cover with a heavy board or a baking tray, and weigh down with a pot on top. Set aside, ideally overnight but a few hours will do.

Once your pudding is pressed and cooled, preheat the grill to low. Put all the rarebit ingredients – into a bowl. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, and give everything a good whisk. Slowly pour the rarebit mixture over the top of your cooled, pressed pudding and slip under the grill to bubble up – it should take about 5-8 minutes, but keep an eye on it. Once golden and bubbly, remove from the grill and serve while still hot and gooey – .

Andi Oliver is a chef, broadcaster and food writer


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