A hot alternative to the traditional Ploughman’s salad, vary the dippers to your favourite veggies.


  • For dipping

  • small pickled onions, drained

  • cubes of crusty bread, such as sour dough, baguette, wholegrain or rye

  • cherry tomatoes, radishes, celery batons, baby gem lettuce leaves, spring onions

  • farmhouse pickle

  • For the fondue

  • 250g/9oz mature cheddar, grated

  • 2 tbsp cornflour

  • 1 tsp English mustard powder

  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled

  • 200ml/7fl oz pale ale


  • 1.

    Arrange all the dipping ingredients on a large platter or wooden board. Put the pickle in a small wide dish.

  • 2.

    In a bowl, combine the grated cheddar with the cornflour and mustard powder and toss well together.

  • 3.

    Rub the garlic clove vigorously around the inside of a saucepan – a cast iron saucepan is ideal – or a fondue pot. Pour the beer into the saucepan and bring to a very gentle simmer over a low heat.

  • 4.

    Add the cheese, one handful at a time, stirring well and allowing it to melt before adding more. It is important to keep stirring once the cheese is added.

  • 5.

    Simmer gently for three minutes, stirring constantly until the fondue looks smooth and glossy. Add a little extra ale if the cheese mixture is any thicker than a pourable custard. Transfer to a burner and keep warm while the fondue is served.

  • 6.

    Dip the pickled onions, bread and vegetables into the melted cheese to serve. Don’t double dip! Add a little pickle to each serving if you like. (If the cheese thickens a little too much while being served, add a tablespoon or two of just-boiled water and stir well.)

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