Buck rabbit

Serves 4

As you probably know by now, I prefer using the original 18th century name for what is now commonly called rarebit. You can use grilled strips of streaky bacon or used diced-up chunks in the mix as I have done here. Serve it as a savoury or as a canapé or drinks snack.

150g Cheddar cheese, grated
2 egg yolks
2tsp Worcester sauce
1tsp English mustard
80ml Guinness, stout or ale
80ml double cream
4 slices bread – a small bloomer-style loaf is ideal
Salt and pepper
4 rashers of streaky bacon cut into small dice
4 quails' eggs
A couple of knobs of butter

Simmer the Guinness until it has reduced by half, add the cream and then reduce this by half again until it is really thick. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a frying pan on a medium heat for a few minutes until lightly coloured, drain on some kitchen paper; mix with the cheese mixture. Mix in the other ingredients, except the bread, eggs and butter, and season. Toast the bread on both sides, spread the cheese mixture on top, about 1cm thick, and to the edges to avoid burning, and grill on a medium heat until nicely browned. Gently fry the quails' eggs in the butter and place on top of the browned cheese mixture.

To see Mark Hix's exclusive cookery videos, see http://www.independent.co.uk/hixcooks

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