Like a British equivalent of Thai fish or soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce is one of those condiments we can't do without. A good bloody Mary relies on it, as does proper Welsh rabbit. Yet who could recite the ingredients? Anyway, vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind, onions, garlic, spices and other flavourings sound as if they've come from a fusion menu gone wrong. Worcestershire sauce came about, so the story goes, one day in 1835 when the chemists John Wheeley Lea and Mr William Henry Perrins from Worcester were called upon by Marcus, Lord Sandys, on his return from a stint as governor of Bengal. Lord Sandys asked the two chemists to make him up a batch of sauce using a recipe he had brought back from India. They set to work, but the end product was pretty ghastly. They sent the bottles on to his lordship anyway and kept back a few samples just in case something remarkable happened in the bottle. And so it did. This recipe uses two other traditional ingredients, and just wouldn't taste the same without them.
12-16 young leeks, trimmed, cleaned and left whole
150g Caerphilly or Cheddar cheese, grated
2 egg yolks
3tsp Worcestershire sauce
1tsp Colman's English mustard
80ml double cream
Salt and pepper
Cook the leeks in boiling salted water for 8-12 minutes, or until tender, depending on their size then drain in a colander and keep warm.
Meanwhile 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.
Mix together with all the other ingredients and season to taste. Pre-heat the grill to maximum. Arrange the leeks on a heat-proof dish or plates and spoon the cheese mixture over the middle of the leeks. Place under the grill for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Eat with crusty bread or a salad.Reuse content