It’s fair to say that Stinking Bishop and its washed rind cousins can be divisive. Undeniably stinky, they are the sort of cheeses that can clear a room and leave a lingering impression. I’ve tried Stinking Bishop several times before, with varying degrees of success that led me to the conclusion that I’m not a fan of washed rinds run wild. That’s not to say that they can’t be delicious cheeses, just that you have to pick your moment, unless you’re a fan of very strong cheeses.
So, when I was recently sent a ‘baby’ Stinking Bishop as part of a postal trial, I waited with some degree of trepidation. Would I find my postman horrified and gasping on my doorstep, holding my parcel at arm’s length and mentally black-listing my property for perpetuity? I am pleased to report that it arrived in perfect condition and was probably the best-tasting Bish I’d ever had – creamy and slightly funky but certainly not a fridge-wrecker. Even so, there’s only so much washed rind one person can eat.
Fortunately, its arrival coincided with the first harvest of note from my allotment. With new potatoes, red onion and lettuce all in the bag, I added some bacon to add to the tartiflette vibe and, given that the cheese is washed in perry, the pears seemed like an appropriate addition too. This recipe served one (admittedly greedy) person.
3 new potatoes
1/2 small red onion, sliced into half moons
1 pear, cored and sliced
1 slice smoked bacon, cut into pieces
Lettuce/mixed salad leaves
40g Stinking Bishop cheese, cut into cubes
Boil the potatoes until they are cooked, about ten minutes depending on the variety. Whilst they’re cooking, fry the red onion and bacon until slightly crispy. After five minutes, add the pear to warm through.
Wash the salad leaves, arrange on a plate and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them, cut them up if necessary and add them to the frying pan with the onion, bacon and pear. Add the cubes of cheese and toss everything together so that the cheese melts through. Pour it out onto the salad leaves and serve warm.