hangover mac ‘n’ cheese recipe

Hangover food isn’t a cure, but it can help. Here are 3 recipes to try on the weekend

Posted by for Food and Drink

From a croque madame on sourdough toast to Welsh rarebit mac ‘n’ cheese, these recipes should make your path through a foggy-headed day a little clearer.

While you may not have gone teetotal over the last 12 months, it’s possible that successive lockdowns prompted you to scale back your booze intake. With trips to bars, pubs and restaurants largely off the cards, many of us found we were drinking less than normal: research by the University of Sheffield’s Alcohol Research Group shows alcohol consumption fell overall in Scotland and England during the first stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But as lockdown measures ease across the UK, you might soon find yourself waking up feeling a little delicate. Between 12-19 April – the week that pub gardens and outdoor hospitality venues reopened in England – Superdrug experienced a spike in sales of hangover-associated products such as co-codamol (up 64%), ibuprofen (up 47%), paracetamol (up 40%) and energy tablets with vitamin C (up 26%). Unsurprisingly, more Friday night trips to the pub are likely to result in more fuzzy-headed Saturday mornings.  

We all know that hangovers can sometimes strike even when you’ve followed all the rules for a relatively responsible night out (don’t drink on an empty stomach, stick to one kind of booze and alternate alcoholic beverages with water). And while most experts agree that there is no such thing as a hangover ‘cure’, a plate of something savoury, salty and filling can be just the thing to make us feel ready to face the day ahead.

Ahead, you’ll find three recipes from Twisted, the eponymous cookbook from the viral food publisher of the same name. They will hit the spot the day after the night before, starting with fry-up fried rice: a quick and easy dish featuring sausages, bacon and shiitake mushrooms, plus lashings of oyster and soy sauce for that all-important umami component. 

twisted cookbook
Twisted: A Cookbook is out now with Hodder & Stoughton

Another excellent hangover brunch dish is the ham and mushroom croque madame, a posh gruyère cheese toastie topped with a fried egg.

And for a recipe that makes a perfect hungover lunch in front of the TV, try the Welsh rarebit mac ‘n’ cheese. This twist on the classic pasta bake includes toasted chunks of sourdough bread, plus buttery leeks that have been fried in blonde beer. Hair of the dog never tasted so good. 

croque madame recipe, fry-up fried rice recipe
Best hangover recipes: ham and mushroom croque madame (left) and fry-up fried rice (right)

Fry-up fried rice

The perfect way to use up leftover takeout rice. Great with hash browns, beans, buttered toast and a cuppa.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 8 rashers smoked bacon, diced
  • 3 sausages, casings removed
  • a large handful of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, sliced, plus extra to serve
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 600g cooked long-grain rice, chilled
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper salt, to taste

Method

Whisk together the oyster sauce, ketchup, soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.

Get a wok or large saucepan ripping hot, add 1 tbsp of the oil and chuck in the diced bacon. Fry until the bacon fat has rendered and it is a bit crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Fry the sausage meat in the bacon fat until crisp, breaking it up into small pieces as you do so. Remove and set aside with the bacon.

Add the mushrooms to the residual pork fat, season with a little salt and fry until the moisture has evaporated and they have taken on some colour. Set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan and add the garlic, moving it through the oil briefly before adding the spring onions and a little pinch of salt.

Pour in the whisked eggs, allow to set for a few seconds, then roughly scramble around the wok or pan.

Throw in the cooked rice and toss well.

Return the bacon, sausage and mushrooms to the pan and continue moving everything around the pan for a few minutes.

When it is all sizzling hot, add the sauce and the black pepper and toss to ensure everything is nicely coated.

Transfer to a serving dish and top with more sliced spring onions.

Ham & mushroom croque madame

‘Croque Madame’ essentially translates to ‘Mrs Crunch’. When cooked correctly this sublime sarnie should be crisp on the outside then give way to the molten velvet loveliness of béchamel, ham and mushroom. The perfect thing to crawl out of bed for on a Saturday morning.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of sourdough bread
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 thick slices of ham
  • 300g gruyère cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the béchamel:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the mushrooms:

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp thyme leaves
  • 400g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

For the béchamel, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually pour in the milk, stirring to combine, until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Stir in the mustard and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a bowl to cool.

For the filling, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes until softened.

Add the thyme and mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are caramelised, then add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the grill to high and the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

Spread the bread with butter on one side and arrange, buttered-side up, on a baking tray. Grill the bread until just golden brown, then let cool.

When cooled, spread the untoasted side of 4 slices of bread with some of the béchamel sauce. Top each with two slices of ham, some of the mushroom mixture and top with half of the gruyère cheese.

Top with the remaining slices of bread, toasted-side up, then add a final layer of béchamel and gruyère cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat. Crack in the eggs, leaving a little space in between, season with salt and pepper and fry until the tops of the whites are set but the yolks are still a little runny.

Top each sandwich with a fried egg and serve immediately.

hangover mac ‘n’ cheese recipe
Best hangover recipes: Welsh rarebit mac ‘n’ cheese

Welsh rarebit mac ‘n’ cheese

The word ‘rarebit’ is apparently a corruption of ‘rabbit’. Historically, people would mock the Welsh for being a bit stingy and so to serve someone ‘Welsh rabbit’ was to give them something inferior or ersatz. Likewise, a ‘Welsh pearl’ was of bad quality and a ‘Welsh comb’ was to brush your hair with your fingers. Harsh – and unfair, since Welsh rarebit is great.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter, plus 3 tbsp melted
  • 4 medium leeks, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 150ml blonde beer
  • 170g sourdough bread, torn into small chunks
  • 40g plain flour
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce (or Henderson’s relish, if you’re veggie)
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 400g good-quality dried elbow macaroni
  • 400g really nice mature cheddar, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 4 and grease a large baking dish.

Heat half of the unsalted butter in a saucepan set over a low heat and gently fry the leeks for 30–40 minutes until you have a lightly caramelised tangle.

Increase the heat, add the beer and let it reduce until almost completely evaporated. Set aside.

Toss the sourdough chunks in the melted butter, spread over a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden but not too dark (they get cooked again later).

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the remaining butter until it foams, then add the flour and stir vigorously to make a smooth paste.

Gradually beat in the milk with a wooden spoon, then stir in the worcestershire sauce, mustard and cayenne pepper. Leave to bubble and thicken for 3–4 minutes.

Stir in the leeks, then remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente, according to the packet instructions. Drain, reserving a cup of pasta cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce, then add the cheddar, a handful at a time, stirring as you go. Splash in a little pasta water if the sauce looks too thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and top with the sourdough croutons. Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Twisted: A Cookbook (£20, Hodder & Stoughton) is out now

Photography: Louise Hagger; David Loftus

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