Saturday, September 3, 2011


The Welsh Rarebit

Photo courtesy Pioneer Woman

There are absolutely no bunnies involved.

The undisputed 'King' of the grilled cheese world, Welsh Rarebit was considered a "lush" Tavern supper, at least in the eighteenth-century. Essentially, Rarebit is a grilled cheese sandwich of silky decadent cheese sauce slathered over rustic wheat breads.

So, what makes this so special, despite being Gomer Pyle's favorite dish?

Nobody knows!

Make up some wild story about Betty Crocker and Charles Dickens and amaze your friends on Rarebit Day.

Welsh Rarebit
(No Bunnies Here!)

Photo courtesy Pioneer Woman


  • 2 tablespoons sweet créme Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All-Purpose (AP) Flour
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard Powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup strong Dark Beer, like Guinness
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pound (500 g.) Cheddar Cheese, Double Gloucester or other English Cheese, coarsely grated
INGREDIENT NOTE : If you cannot find English cheeses, other good semi-hard cheeses like Comté, Gruyère, Edam, or Fontina work fabulously. Better still, a combination of any of any of these would be fantastic. Use what you like and can find.
  • 4 to 8 pieces lightly toasted, thick cut, Whole Grain Bread

Place the Butter into a saucepan over medium heat and, as it melts, stir in the Flour. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very fragrant, about three (3) to five (5) minutes. Stir in the Mustard Powder and Cayenne, then, whisk in the Beer and Worcestershire Sauce.

When the mixture has stopped foaming and is uniform in colour, reduce the heat to very low and add the Cheese, a bit at a time, stirring constantly until everything is silky and smooth.

Remove from the heat and pour into a cereal bowl or ramekin to set. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to this point. 

If using immediately, pour the hot mixture mixture thickly on top of the toasted Whole Grain Bread and put under the broiler for thirty (30) seconds or so until bubbly and the edges of the toast are crisp.

Serve immediately.

If serving later, i.e. after the mixture has set, spread the mixture on top of toast and don't be stingy. Place the slathered toast under the broiler or in your convenient 'toast-r-oven'. Who says you can't have rarebit every day!

Darius, the Giant Welsh Rabbit

No Rabbits were harmed in the research of this dish.

Recipe adapted by L. M. Sorré from Fergus Henderson

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