The Welsh Rarebit/Rabbit Question and how to do it properly whatever it's called!

I had lunch at Carol's house the other day - Welsh Rarebit.  She was concerned that I might think it was going to be just cheese on toast but I am a wise old bird and know different.

I didn't watch Carol cook my rarebit (although I did grate the cheese which probably helped a lot) but this was much more than cheese on toast, it was a thick savoury cheese sauce grilled till bubbling and golden and served with a glass of wine and a good old chat.

I have seen recipes for Rarebit varying from, as I say, plain cheese on toast to a souffléd version à la Delia here.

Although it seems polite to me to use Caerphilly, if this is indeed a Welsh recipe, a mature Cheddar is best I think.  Anyhoo, here are some ideas on the two and a half basic methods I am aware of ...

Welsh Rarebit Method 1 

Roux based, egg yolk enriched and probably the most traditional, although I think the original dish was yolk-less - serves 2

15g butter
15g plain flour
50ml ale, dry cider or milk
80g grated mature Cheddar
1 egg yolk
½ tsp English mustard powder
dash of Worcestershire sauce
s & p and cayenne to taste.
2 thick slices of great bread

~  Melt the butter and stir in the flour to form a paste (called a roux).
~  Slowly stir in the ale or cider to form a thick sauce and stir over low heat for a couple of minutes
~  With your other hand turn on the grill to hot.
~  Add the cheese and egg yolk tothe sauce till the cheese has melted, taste and season with all the other bits (except the bread!)
~  Toast the bread under the hot grill and put into a shallow heatproof dish.
~  Pour over the sauce and pop back under the grill till hot, bubbly, golden, and enticing.

Welsh Rarebit Method 2

Similar to above but quicker as without a roux or an egg yolk.

20g butter
100g grated Cheddar
½ tsp English mustard powder
dash of Worcestershire sauce
60ml ale
seasonings as above
2 thick slices lovely bread

~  Melt the butter and then mix in the rest of the ingredients down to but not including the bread.
~  Toast the bread, spread with the cheese mixture and pop back under the grill till bubbling.

Welsh Rarebit Method 2½

Just Cheese on Toast!

I have one useful thing to say about "just cheese on toast" - if you can be bothered and especially if you have added other cool ingredients such as a slice of ham under the cheese, then the best way to heat this through is in a hot oven as the middle can warm through without overdoing the cheese - lots of cheese on toast ideas here.

Some while ago I briefly mentioned (here within the body of a rant!) that we used to serve Cornish Rarebit in appropriately enough, our Cornish restaurant  Here's a picture of Cornwall to get you in the mood! 

exhilarating rough seas off the Cornish coast

Rabbit or Rarebit?

I got this from The Old Foodie, a really interesting site which is well worth a visit.

The OED traces Welsh Rabbit to 1725, sixty years before 'rarebit', and the eminent lexicographer H.W.Fowler stated in no uncertain terms “Welsh Rabbit is amusing and right. Welsh Rarebit is stupid and wrong.

Lunch Pudding

Last night we had, at my real man's request, a pear sponge made with blush pears.  Not only was this delicious I was surprised and delighted to find that the pears were a beguilingly pretty pink when cooked - perfect for a real man!


1 comment:

Sarah said...

A few years ago I tried out Welsh rarebit as a topping for grilled fish. That was so tasty! Yum, yum, your lunch looked delicious.