I can clearly remember my first encounter with a cheese savoury sandwich. I had just started university in Newcastle and was looking to grab a sandwich between lectures. I popped into Greggs, a local bakery that started in Gosforth in the 1950’s. There I found a large range of sandwiches for sale. Most of these were served in stottie cakes, a flat round bread that can be divided into four. It is local to Newcastle. I have to admit to wondering what a stottie was at first.
Among the sandwich selection were ham and pease pudding and cheese savoury. I decided to try the cheese savoury sandwiches and was rewarded with a cheesy crunchy tangy sandwich, quite unlike anything I had tried before. It was delicious. Cheese savoury sandwiches seem to be a sandwich filling that is only found in and around Newcastle. It is a shame as the sandwich is a real treat and would brighten up anyone’s lunch box. I have been experimenting and managed to recreate the cheese savoury sandwich at home. Given that it is National Sandwich week it seemed a good time to share the recipe.
One thing that people in the North East are good at is creating tasty filling recipes using basic ingredients. Most of these recipes probably came from the days when men worked in the steel yards and the pits. Times were hard and a little had to go a long way. Recipes like Pan Haggerty and Leek Pudding are examples of this type of recipe. I can imagine the cheese savoury stottie being enjoyed by men hard at work on the ships. They would have it for their bait, a geordie word for packed lunch.
My cheese savoury sandwich was served on brown bread baps instead of the traditional stottie cake. The filling is delicious in any type of bread, you need to be sure you create a large batch as it will disappear quickly. The filling can be kept in plastic box in the fridge if you do not use it all at once. It will keep for up to a week. Making the cheese savoury filling requires lots of grating, so make sure you have a decent grater. Collect together a block of tangy cheddar cheese, an onion and a carrot. A little salt and pepper can also used for seasoning. The final ingredient needed is mayonnaise.
Now it is time to get grating. Grate the cheese, onion and carrot into a bowl and mix them up. It is not that easy grating an onion, keep a box of tissues handy in case your eyes water. Just remember the filling will be worth it. The carrots add a sweetness and crunch to the filling without being obvious. It is a great way to sneak in some vegetables if you have reluctant vegetable eaters in your family. Once everything has been grated add the mayonaise. Mix it into the mixture until the filling is moist but be careful not to add too much. Finally spoon the filling into your sandwiches.
The filling needs no accompaniment but if you wish you can add salad, chives or even crisps and a gherkin like they do in America. A little salt and pepper can be used for seasoning. Adjust the amount to suit your taste. This filling would also be ideal for parties, it would leave your guests wondering how you made it.
How to make cheese savoury sandwich filling
- Bread rolls
- 250g cheddar cheese
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 tbsp mayonaise
- salt and pepper to season
- Grate the cheese into a bowl.
- Peel the onion and carrot and grate these into a bowl with the cheese.
- Add the mayonnaise and mix.
- Butter the bread rolls and spoon the filling inside