Food & Drink Magazine

Proper Welsh Rarebit

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
Welsh Rarebit 
Welsh Rarebit is one of our most famous and enjoyable traditional dishes here in the UK, with a long history dating back to at least the 1500's when a very simple but popular dish of toasted bread, covered in melted cheese and topped with mustard or spices, becoming a staple in the diets of Welsh men and women. 
Welsh Rarebit  
A "poor man's" protein fix, Welsh Rarebit is sometimes known as "Welsh Rabbit", even though no rabbit has ever been involved in its preparation.  It has become through the years a very popular dish throughout the United Kingdom, despite its humble beginnings. 
Welsh Rarebit 
In Wales, it actually has a National Day devoted to it.  The 3rd of September is known in Wales as Welsh Rarebit Day!
It typically is composed of a rich, but simple cheese sauce which is traditionally spooned over hot buttered toast.  You can also pop the sauce slathered toast beneath a hot grill to gild it a bit, which is my preferred way to eat it!!
Welsh Rarebit 
It makes a lovely simple supper served with some slices tomato and salad greens, and is surprisingly hearty!
Welsh Rarebit 
The true and traditional method is to make a simple and unadulterated rich cheese sauce  . . .  composed of a bit of cream, a bit of milk, some butter and flour, plenty of cheese, thickened with a beaten egg, and seasoned with mustard powder and cayenne pepper for a bit of a spark. 
Welsh Rarebit
I have seen people add spring onions to it, chopped leeks, sauteed shallots . . . but traditionally it did not have any of those things . . . just the basics.
Welsh Rarebit 
It is surprisingly hearty!  And very rich in flavor.
Welsh Rarebit 
You don't have to make it with ale.  You can use milk instead of the beer.  It is done both ways actually.
Welsh Rarebit 
The beer does add a nice flavor however that we quite like . . .
Welsh Rarebit 
When I was a girl we used to love it when my mom made us cheese on toast, and we would love it even more if she added a slice of bacon to it.  That wasn't Welsh Rarebit  . . .  but it was incredibly tasty.
Welsh Rarebit  
Both are a very naughty once in a blue moon treat!
Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
Proper Welsh Rarebit

Proper Welsh Rarebit

Moreishly cheesy.  I don't want to know the calorie count in this and neither do you!  A once in a blue moon treat.


  • 1/2 TBS butter
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 80ml beer (lager) (1/3 cup)
  • 80ml single cream (1/3 cup)
  • 250g grated strong cheddar (2 cups)
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 slices of thick, hot buttered toast to serve


How to cook Proper Welsh Rarebit

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Cook, stirring, for about half a minute until the flour is light golden brown.
  2. Add the beer and cream, stirring constantly.  Stir in the cheese, a bit at a time, whisking it in to melt.  Make sure the mixture does NOT boil.  Cook until all the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Remove from the heat.
  3. Beat the egg together with the mustard powder and cayenne.  Temper with a bit of the hot mixture and then whisk the whole lot back into the melted cheese mixture.
  4. Return to the heat and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened.  Pour the mixture over the hot toast and serve immediately.
  5. Alternately you can spread the mixture over the toast and pop under a hot grill until it is bubbling and golden brown.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Welsh Rarebit 
I think you need to enjoy something like this every once in a while . . .  something simple . . .  but outstandingly delicious despite its simplicity.  What do you think?  
Up tomorrow:  Lemon & Caper Dressed John Dory 
John Dory is called the ugliest fish . . .  but it has a delicate and sweet flavor you will absolutely fall in love with!  
Proper Welsh Rarebit

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