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Welsh Rarebit Recipe

This welsh rarebit recipe is truly divine and really lives up to its nick name as 'posh cheese on toast'. It is a luxurious thick cheesy spread that uses beer in its recipe to give a rich and deep taste. Once you've tried this recipe normal cheese on toast just won't cut it anymore!

It's really easy to make taking only around 10-15 minutes to prepare and can cover 4 pieces of normal sized 'loaf' bread. But we find it covers two larger pieces of bread just as well - if you're a fan of 'door wedge' sized pieces of bread.


Instructions to make the Welsh Rarebit:

  1. Preheat your grill.
  2. Start by melting the butter in a saucepan, gradually stirring in the flour until you end up with a lump-free, smooth paste. Stir in the beer making sure the beer mixes fully into the paste and simmer on a low heat until the sauce is thick and smooth.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan (with the exception of the pepper) and stir gently until the cheese melts into the sauce. Once complete add a few pinches of pepper to taste and set the sauce aside making sure it is off the heat.
  4. Carefully toast your bread on BOTH sides under the grill and remove.
  5. You may need to quickly reheat the rarebit sauce to make it easily spreadable again and then spread it thickly over the toasted bread, making sure you cover each piece entirely to ensure it does not burn. Then return the bread to the grill and toast until the rarebit sauce is lightly brown and bubbling. Or, if you're like me, I prefer to let the rarebit go slightly dark brown and a little crispy in places - just be careful not to over do it!

That's all there is to it. A simple recipe that's full of flavour and provides an excellent variation on cheese on toast.

Did you know?

The same recipe above can be used to make an excellent cheese sauce that can be used in lasagne or cauliflower cheese. The slightly beery flavour may not be to everyones taste in lasagne but we find it complements the tomato sauce nicely. But if you want to play it safe the recipe works just as well as a plain cheese sauce if you'd prefer to substitute the beer for milk.

The Origins Of Welsh Rarebit

Because of its unusual name, I thought I'd append a some information about the origins of welsh rarebit here - so the curious among you can find out a little bit more.

Welsh rarebit also goes by the name Welsh rabbit (incidentally how my mum refers to it!). To this day there is still some contention on how the name came to be. It is most often thought to be a simple mispronunciation or corruption of the word of the word 'rabbit' to 'rarebit'.

Is is speculated that the name was coined at a time during the 16th Century when the Welsh were quite poor and only the wealthy could afford to by meat. In England, for centuries now, rabbit has been known as the 'poor man's meat' and in Wales cheese was considered the poor man's meat. It is for this reason, it has been said, the welsh would often substitute rabbit for cheese in their cooking.

As for welsh rarebit itself the first recorded use of the term was in 1785 by Francis Grose. It was about this same time that Welsh Rarebit was also considered to be a delicious tavern supper by English cookbooks - this is still true to this day and throughout England, Wales and Scotland you can buy variations of this dish in some pubs and restaurants.So there we have it. A round up of simple and delicious Welsh rarebit recipe and even a bit on its origins. Enjoy!

Written By

Ian nurses an obsession with cooking and loves to try new recipes and twists on old favourites. When Ian's not in the kitchen he's an avid cyclist and can be found cycling his way around Yorkshire.

Published: Sat, 12 Apr 2014
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