As with the mackerel, so with the cheese. It was in the same Fearnley-Whittingstall spread* as the potted mackerel and required cheese, butter and a splash of vin rouge or some vine-based glug, thereby having all the markings of a winner about it. The man himself suggested you play with the recipe and use whichever combo of cheeses takes your fancy, but as a beginner I opted for the relative safety of Cheddar and Lincolnshire Poacher as I didn’t fancy a Mongolian Barbeque**-style horror of a taste combo.

Potted cheese

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Skill level: easy
Serves: many


  • Cheddar and Lincolnshire Poacher (or any combo of cheeses you can possibly think might go together) – grated or crumbled – 160g
  • butter – softened – 60g
  • red wine – a big splash
  • nutmeg – a tsp
  • clarified butter (for sealing – see potted mackerel for recipe)
  • s & p

Beat together the cheese, softened butter, booze and nutmeg until fairly smooth (using your weapon of choice). Taste and season as you see fit, then spoon into a ramekin or Kilner jar, and pour over some clarified butter to seal. It should keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

Potted cheese

some cheese, yesterday

Potted cheese

some cheese and butter and red wine in a bowl, sometime later

Potted cheese

this is what it looks like, good eh?

Verdict: We all thought it rather tasty if not mildly confusing. I may have put slightly too much red wine in but this actually meant that it took on an almost meaty flavour, as if we were eating a smooth liver paté. Yum. I had it for sandwiches that week.

Drink: A hazy combo of spirits and Italian wines.

Entertainment: The continuing adventures of Archaeologist-T – she’s got a special hat but she looks nothing like Harrison Ford.

* potted things are always spread, this was not just thrown together
** remember in the 90s when you could go to a restaurant and choose the individual components and then a man would kindly whizz them together in a wok until they resembled a brown mush which you soon realised didn’t work so you had to go back to the counter and choose a better, possibly less complex combination. All the while the big gang of friends that you had come with were going through the same process with the result that the meal was utterly dislocated, ultimately unsatisfying and you really only got to talk to your friends afterwards down the pub as you filled up on crisps.

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