Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit

The alternative name for this cheesy British classic, Welsh rabbit, may be the original title, and the ‘rarebit’ name may have been created later to try and make sense of a nonsensical sounding dish. Etymology aside, this is the classic cheddar dish and the ‘Welsh’ appellation suggests an origin close to cheddar’s traditional home in England’s south-western counties. Use a good, crumbly authentic Welsh or English cheddar for Welsh rarebit, and a good British ale, such as Fuller’s London Pride, then drink the rest of the bottle with this fancy cheese on toast. It’s not essential, but the cheese topping sets best if you make it in advance and refrigerate it (even overnight) before grilling it. Variations of Welsh rarebit include Yorkshire buck rabbit (or buck rarebit) with a poached egg on top, and blushing bunny with canned tomato soup substituted for the ale giving a pink blush to the topping.

Serves 4

Ingredients
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 120ml ale
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 250g traditional cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • Pickles, for serving
Method
  1. Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and mustard and stir over a medium heat for a minute or so, until it smells toasty.
  2. Stir in ale and Worcestershire then add cheese and stir until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a shallow dish and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the muffins and heat an overhead grill to high.
  5. Place muffins on a baking tray and spread cheese mixture over them.
  6. Place under the grill for 2-3 minutes, until bubbling and brown.
  7. Serve with pickles and a glass of ale.

Like this recipe? Check out my Top 5 Wales (country guide)!

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