Strong Ale and Cheese

Double Gloucester cheese was made from the milk of the Old Gloucester breed of cows. They were known in the Middle Ages and had hardly changed by the eighteenth century, when the Duke of Beaufort, Master of the Beaufort Hunt, ordered his tenant farmers to confine themselves to this breed because they had lost all fear of hounds and barely raised their heads when the pack swept through the fields.

Today, excellent Double Gloucester is made commercially and this recipe is quite different if made with any other cheese. Drink ale or red wine with this dish and, if possible, serve a bowl of fresh watercress, without dressing.


  • 6 oz (180 g) Double Gloucester cheese, cut in thin slices
  • tablespoons (30 g) prepared mustard (Tewkesbury or Urchfont mustards are very good for this dish)
  • cups (3 dl) strong ale
  • 4 large slices of freshly toasted white bread, crusts removed


Put the cheese into a small, shallow, fireproof dish so that the slices are about ½ inch (1 cm) deep. Spread the mustard over the top. Pour in the ale, which should just cover the cheese. Bake at 450°F (230°C, Gas Mark 8) for 15 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and pour and spoon the cheese mixture on to the slices of toast. Serve at once.