If you love, cherish and season your cast-iron skillet like it’s a member of the family, we have a new cookbook for your library. Food writer and cookbook author Charlotte Druckman’s latest collection of recipes all take place on the searing-hot surface of a heavy iron pan. Her NYC rarebit sandwich recipe is a superb lesson in battling a hangover.
This sandwich references the world’s most perfect hangover food, the UK’s Welsh rarebit. Toasted English muffins drenched in molten cheddar perfumed with beer and Worcestershire sauce hold a mixture of sautéed apples and onions. It’s messy, as it should be. Take an obnoxiously large bite, let the cheesy lava dribble down your chin, and chase it with a hair-of-the-dog pint of Guinness — or maybe a Brooklyn-brewed stout to honor the Big Apple, where me and my rarebit were born.
Apple and Onion Sauté
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup julienned onion
- 1 cup julienned peeled apple
- kosher salt
- cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons best-quality Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons stout
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, plus more as needed
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated cheddar cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 English muffins, split in half
For the sandwiches
Prepare the sauté: Preheat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on the stovetop, gradually raising the heat from low to medium-high. When the pan is hot, add the butter. When it is melted and sizzling, add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes, so it softens and begins to color.
Add the apple and sauté for about 5 minutes more, until the onion is golden brown, the apple has softened, and their flavors have melded together. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof bowl and season with salt and cayenne. Set it aside while you make the rarebit topping.
Make the topping: In a small saucepan, combine the mustard, ketchup, stout, butter, and Worcestershire and heat over low heat until the butter has melted, whisking to combine. Add the cheese and, using the whisk, continue to stir, so it melts and incorporates. The mixture will be a bit lumpy, although the whisk will help smooth it out somewhat. Do not let it come to a boil.
Once the cheese has melted, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, then take the pan off the heat. If it’s hot, allow the mixture to cool until it’s just slightly warm; you don’t want it to solidify. Using a whisk, beat the egg yolk into the cheese mixture until it’s smooth.
Preheat the 10-inch cast-iron skillet on the stovetop, gradually raising the heat from low to medium-high. When it is hot, place both halves of an English muffin facedown in the pan for about 2 minutes, to toast and begin to brown.
Once the inside of each half is toasted, flip it over and place 2 tablespoons of the rarebit topping on the toasted interiors. Let the muffin halves continue to cook for about 2 minutes more, until the cheese mixture is bubbling. Using a spatula, transfer them to a plate and place a heaping of the sauteéd apples and onions on top of the bottom cheese-covered half. Gently flip the top cheese-covered half over to cover the sandwich. Repeat this process with the second split English muffin.