Marmite, the dark, sticky, yeast-based spread, divides opinion so intently that the makers even use “Love it or hate it” as a marketing campaign. Personally I love it.
You can buy a range of Marmite flavoured products including crips and various bites, however the spread remains the core product (although there have been special edition variations such as the 2021 Dynamite Marmite with added chilli!). Yet many people only ever use it to spread on toast for breakfast. That seems a shame as it can be used in many other ways. In this post, I’ll give you some ideas on how to incorporate Marmite into other aspects of your food and cooking.
Cheese and Marmite make a great combination, especially if you’re using a strong cheddar or other sharp cheese. If you’re just tentatively starting to expand your Marmite experience, then adding a little to cheese on toast is perfect. You can either spread a thin layer of Marmite on the toast before adding the cheese or, if you have time, combine grated cheese with Marmite in a bowl then spread the resulting mixture on to the part-toasted bread. Personally I also like to add a crushed garlic clove and a little ground black pepper. This mixture can also be used as a sandwich filler, possibly for a toastie.
Almost anything you make with a strong cheese flavour can be transformed using a little Marmite: mac ‘n’ cheese (macaroni with cheese), cheesy pastry straws, cheese and onion rolls, etc. A little marmite adds ‘oomph’ – just don’t overdo it.
I’ve never tried spreading Marmite on a prime beef steak, I really don’t think it would be the best of ideas! However Marmite does go very well with minced beef (ground/hamburger beef) dishes.
Minced beef cooked along with onions, garlicand your favourite spices can be pleasant enough on its own. Adding a splash of marmite turns it into something special. You can also use this as the basis of a cottage pie – I wouldn’t use marmite in a shepherd’s pie as the strong flavour would overwhelm the lamb.
Beef meatballs are another great opportunity for adding a sticky flavour boost. The meatball sub is a classic lunch dish. You can try spreading a little Marmite – or Marmite butter, see below – on the sub before adding the other ingredients.
Not a meal in itself but an enhanced ingredient, Marmite butter can be made and used much the same way as garlic butter. Put the buttter in a bowl and allow to soften in a warm place, then add a little Marmite and beat in with a fork or electric whisk on low speed. The resulting Marite butter can, of course, be spread on toast. It can also be used in many other recipes where you’d normally use ordinary melted butter as an easy way to add that Marmite tang.
Don’t leave the butter too long. If you’re planning to make a lot then it might be sensible to separate it into small containers and freeze them individually.