Savoury cheesy beery sauce on toast, that is my delicious experience with Welsh Rarebit to date. And my, this lovely little cheese-on-toast treat is scrumptious.
Has anyone else ever read the Grimble books by Clement Freud? Grimble was my first encounter with Welsh Rarebit. The exact details escape me but I know our young protagonist Grimble experiments with this dish when left to contend with household management while his parents vacation in Peru.
Fortunately I was in the business of making midwinter Christmas fare, not catering for myself in the absence of parental guidance. Ever since Grimble, I have been fascinated by the notion of Welsh Rarebit, not in the least part because of its name. History is divided on whether ‘Rarebit’ was once ‘rabbit.’ Indeed, no rabbit is involved in this dish, although if you add an egg, you can call it a buck rabbit.
There were no eggs or buck rabbits involved in this rendition, for which we used Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall‘s Welsh Rarebit recipe with a few alterations. This is really quite simple to make, and despite its sloppy brown appearance, it is truly tasty I heartily recommend for warming, comforting deliciousness when you need some heating up.
- 50g flour
- 50g butter
- 250ml strong beer warmed
- 250g strong cheddar grated
- 2tsp English mustard
- 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- black pepper
- 4 large slices granary
Melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux sauce. Slowly add the warmed beer, whisking and stirring as you go to make a smooth, beery sauce. At this point, add the cheese and stir it in as it melts. Add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce (to taste – I found one tablespoon plenty, although the recipe calls for two) and the brown sugar. Season with black pepper.
Toast the bread. Top with the beer and cheese mixture and place under a hot grill until it is browned and bubbling. Serve immediately.