First of all, let’s make it perfectly clear, this is Welsh RAREbit … not Welsh Rabbit.  Welsh rarebit is basically cheese toast – yummy, bubbly, savoury cheese toast.  Made with a good, sharp cheddar cheese and a healthy dose of ale and Worcestershire sauce, it makes a nice alternative to your everyday grilled cheese.

The funny thing is that I had a craving for this treat even before I read this in Salon.  She makes hers differently than mine, making it more like a bechamel sauce that you would pour over toast then put under a hot grill / broiler.  Mine is thicker and more like a savoury cheese spread, but really it’s all down to preference.  As much as I love a bechamel sauce, it is a bit heavy, and if you’re serving this with soup (which I was), then it might be a bit … just … too … much.  So, I think it’s really down to finding the recipe you like and which works for you.

Welsh Rarebit

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/3 cup ale
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • really good grinding of black pepper
  • 4 thick slices toast

Preheat the oven to 500 / preheat the grill or broiler.  In a saucepan over medium-low heat, pour in the ale and slowly add the cheddar cheese, stirring to keep smooth.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and black pepper, then add the mustard powder in small increments – it really does add a bite to the sauce, so taste as you go.  When smooth, toast your bread and spread on the cheese sauce, then pop under the grill for 3 minutes or so until bubbly – serve open-face.

Rarebit - a great alternative to the traditional grilled cheese!