Rarebit topped Glamorgan burger with no lid, on a wooden board

Considering I’m half Welsh, I don’t share many Welsh-inspired recipes here. I thought it was time for that to change, since Wales is responsible for some amazing dishes – mostly nice cheesy ones! These cheesy Glamorgan burgers are a little more labour-intensive than my usual 15 minute dinners (I swear there are fewer hours in the day than there were a few years ago?), but they were definitely worth the effort.

If you’re not familiar with Welsh food, the title of this recipe probably won’t make a huge amount of sense to you. They’re really a mish mash of two different Welsh dishes:

Welsh rarebit – a gooey cheese sauce poured over crispy bread (basically fancy cheese on toast).
Glamorgan sausages – cheesy vegetarian sausages made with Wales’ national emblem, the leek!

I decided to make Glamorgan burgers instead of Glamorgan sausages, just for a bit of a change, and so I had an excuse to dress them up with salad, a bun, and – the pièce de résistance – the cheesy rarebit topping.

Rarebit topped Glamorgan burger served in a bun on a wooden board

Okay, let’s start with the Glamorgan burgers themselves. I added a tin of chickpeas to the recipe, which wouldn’t usually be found in Glamorgan sausages, just to add some protein and make them feel a bit more like a proper meal (I’m all for my meals being 90% cheese, but I do feel I should try to be a bit of a grown up sometimes too). The chickpeas are blitzed up and mixed with some breadcrumbs, lots of grated cheese, and some garlicky sautéed leeks. Absolutely gorgeous. I pan fried them to make sure they were nice and crispy on the outside, then finished them off in the oven.

Vegetarian Glamorgan leek and cheese burgers in a frying pan before and after frying

(The eagle-eyed among you might notice that I started with 4 burgers in the pan, and ended up with only three. I didn’t eat a whole one while I was cooking – although it’s always tempting – but in the end I spread them out over two pans to give them a bit more space)

The Glamorgan burgers are amazing in their own right, so if you can’t be bothered faffing about with the cheesy rarebit sauce, you’ll still have an amazing dinner. But if you do have the time, everything is inevitably better when topped with cheese that’s both gooey and crispy at the same time.

Vegetarian Glamorgan burgers on a baking tray with and without cheesy rarebit topping

I am literally in heaven with these.

Stick them in a bun with some lettuce and sliced tomatoes (there I go being a grown up again), and these rarebit topped Glamorgan burgers are pretty special.

Now I’m wondering what else I can top with rarebit… any ideas?

Vegetarian Glamorgan burger in a bun with lettuce and tomatoes

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5 from 3 votes

Cheesy rarebit topped Glamorgan burgers

Inspired by two traditional Welsh dishes, these cheese and leek veggie burgers are topped with a gooey, cheesy rarebit sauce.
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 5 burgers

Ingredients

For the Glamorgan burgers:

  • 2 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 large leek (or 2 small), halved lengthwise then sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 400 g tin chickpeas, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
  • 40 g bread (~ 1 medium slice) - I used wholemeal
  • Small handful fresh parsley
  • 130 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 1 1/3 cups when grated)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For the rarebit topping:

  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 80 ml (~ 1/3 cup) milk
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 50 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 1/2 cup when grated)

To serve:

  • Burger buns, lettuce, sliced tomato, etc.

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, and add the sliced leeks and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat, until soft and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the drained chickpeas, bread and parsley to a food processor, and blitz until well chopped.
  • Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl, and add the cooked leeks, grated cheese, egg, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  • Form the mixture into thick burger shapes - I ended up with 5 Glamorgan burgers, but you could make 4 or 6 if you adjust their size.
  • Heat another dash of oil in a frying pan, and add the burgers (or you may need to spread them out over two pans to give yourself more room to flip them over). Cook over a medium-high heat for a few minutes each side, until golden brown and crispy.
  • Place on a lightly greased baking tray, and bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 20 minutes, until firm.
  • To make the rarebit topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan, and add the flour. Cook for a minute or so, stirring regularly, to cook the flour. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring until smooth each time before adding more. When you've used all of the milk and you have a smooth sauce, add the mustard and grated cheese, and mix again until the cheese has melted.
  • Add a couple of spoonfuls of the rarebit sauce to the top of each burger, and place under a hot grill (broiler) for a minute or so, to brown the cheese.
  • Serve the rarebit topped Glamorgan burgers in buns with salad.

Notes

Feel free to skip the rarebit topping if you don't have time - it's fantastic, but the Glamorgan burgers are great on their own too.
Course: Main meals
Cuisine: Welsh
Author: Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

 

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/5 of the recipe, not including bun or salad.

If you fancy trying rarebit in an even more unusual way, try my beery Welsh rarebit lasagne!