I’ve talked about cheese on toast before when I made my cheesy tomato and avocado toasts, and Welsh rarebit is another variation – except this time, instead of plain old cheese, it has a gooey cheese sauce with (in this case) beer and mustard and butter and all sorts of yummy bits.
Did you hear that? Beer in your cheese! Can’t get any better.
There are a million stories about how Welsh rarebit came about, where it got its bizarre name from (it’s also sometimes known as ‘Welsh rabbit’ – don’t worry, no rabbits were harmed in the making of this dish), and even whether it’s truly Welsh or not (but since I’m half Welsh and I’ll probably be told off if I say anything different, let’s just say it is).
There are also about a million different recipes for Welsh rarebit – some use beer, some don’t; some use real mustard and others use mustard powder; some recipes use Welsh cheese and others just use cheddar, etc. So this is just my version!
Welsh rarebit might just seem like a fussier way of making cheese on toast, but actually it only takes a couple of minutes to make the sauce – it doesn’t really take much longer than normal cheese on toast. Plus you get so much extra flavour from the beer and the mustard that it’s totally worth putting the extra few minutes in.
If you find that your cheesy rarebit sauce oozes off the sides of your bread when you pour it on, don’t despair! They usually end up being the best bits – they go slightly crispy on the edges, and we all know you can’t beat crispy cheese.
(just make sure you have a token bit of salad on the side to make yourself feel slightly less guilty about slathering beer-infused cheese on white bread…)
Classic Welsh rarebit
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 100 ml beer
- 30 g cheddar cheese grated
- 1 tsp mild mustard
- Black pepper
- 2 slices large of bread
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the flour. Whisk well for 30 seconds, then add the beer. Simmer for a minute or so, still whisking, and then add the cheese and mustard. Cook for another minute until the cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth. Season to taste.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast the two slices of bread and lay them on a baking tray. When the cheese sauce is ready, spoon it onto the bread, gently pushing it to the edges with the back of the spoon (don't worry if it spills over the edges a bit!).
- Place under the grill (broiler) for about 5 minutes, until the cheese sauce is just beginning to brown. Serve immediately.