They’re the ultimate comfort food, and this guide will have you wanting a toastie immediately if not sooner.
Maeve O’Malley has run her food business Meltdown for two years now, and as you’ll have read here earlier this week, she is still running one of her cafés while adhering strictly to all the rules and regulations. We asked her to pick some great Irish cheeses and tell us how she’d use them in a toastie.
“If I was to make the perfect cheese toastie I would have to pick three of my favourite Irish cheeses to melt together. Those favourites are:
This is a delicious beechwood smoked cheese which I had the pleasure of trying recently. The Hegartys use milk from their own herd of Irish Friesan cows in Whitechurch, a village on the edge of Cork city, to make their cheese.
This semi-hard cheese is made from pasteurised goats milk and traditional rennet - vegetarian rennet can give a bitter flavour. This goat farm in Co Galway has been up and running since 1990, with the first cheese being made there in 2004. Now all the milk from the 200-stroÓng goat herd is used to make cheese.
Jeffa Gill started making Durras cheese in west Cork in the late 70s and was later joined by Ann McGrath in the mid-80s to help expand their enterprise. The two still run the award-winning business today, and Durras Óg is their newest addition to their repertoire. It resembles French Reblochon and it’s perfect for melting.
To make the perfect toastie, I would first make a smoky and fresh cheese sauce using the Hegarty's cheddar, the Killeen goats cheese, and Irish milk and butter.
Then on a hot pan I’d place one slice of crispy sourdough bread – with the buttered side face down - and pile on the cheese sauce. I’d top it with lashings of Durrus Óg, reduce the heat of the pan and place the top slice on with butter on the outside.
Then I’d flip the toastie to reveal a lovely crisp base, continue to toast until the top side is crispy, slice diagonally and place on a plate with a ramekin of Meltdown Hot Stuff to dip the toastie into. Heaven!