A great British classic, Welsh rarebit is a confusingly named version of cheese on toast. Why not emulate a great traditional recipe, and enjoy the perfect lunchtime snack?
Table of Contents
First and foremost, Welsh rarebit, or Welsh rabbit, depending on who you ask, does not contain any actual rabbit, much to the relief of all of the vegetarians out there.
Instead, Welsh rarebit is essentially cheese on toast souped up into something insanely tasty.
While plain ol’ cheese on toast is a British staple and is probably being eaten for lunch right this second no matter what time of day it is, this version is just that little bit extra.
Filled with the spiciness of good mustard and some beer, this is the English version of the glorious French Croque, Monsieur.
Welsh Rarebit Ingredients
Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.
• All-purpose flour
• Salt & pepper
• Dry mustard
• Worcestershire sauce
• Hot sauce
• Cheddar cheese
How To Make Welsh Rarebit
• Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat
• Slowly add in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce
• Keep cooking and stirring until smooth and free of bubbles, about 5 minutes
• remove from the heat, and slowly stir in milk and return to the heat, occasionally stirring until it comes to a boil
• Slowly pour in the beer, cooking for 1 more minute
• Add the cheddar cheese to the mixture until fully incorporated, and then remove
• Serve over toast or some crusty Ciabatta bread
What Kind Of Beer Should You Use For This Recipe?
Like all great British recipes, this one involves a healthy helping of beer.
The beer not only acts to help thin out the cheesy sauce but also lends its depth of bitter flavor to the whole dish.
The choice of beer, however, is surprisingly critical to making a good Welsh rarebit.
In more traditional times, any leftover, slightly stale beer would be used. Back when this was made in the mid 18th century, this beer probably would have been the equivalent of an English brown ale or possibly an English mild.
These two styles are not commonly made outside of the UK, so a good replacement beer would be anything that is reasonably dark without approaching the stout territory.
You want its color to be a decently dark brown, but without approaching any kind of black, as you would find in a Guinness.
Of course, if you really struggle to find something appropriate, some cheaper beer that you enjoy will work just fine as well.
It is only a small part of the recipe, after all, so don’t sweat it too much.
What Is The Best Bread To Use In This Recipe?
While the main focus of Welsh rarebit is in the ooey, gooey cheese sauce, a big part of its quality is going to depend on what kind of bread you choose to put under the bubbling sauce.
While most households will probably just whatever bread they happen to have on hand, there is nothing stopping you from getting fancy and only using the very best bread available.
A good starting place would be some Ciabatta bread; crusty, airy and probably made with the sweet and bitter flavor of olive oil; Ciabatta works really well when cut pretty thin for this recipe.
You could also use a hunk of a good quality sourdough; honestly, anything that your local bakery would be proud to sell would likely do well here.
But, if you want to be economical and don’t mind overmuch what kind of bread you use, you could also just use the heel end of your latest sandwich bread. The cheese sauce is good enough that you probably wouldn’t even notice the bread, to be honest!
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- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 5 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 drops hot sauce
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup beer
- 16 ounce block Cheddar cheese cubed
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter in saucepan over low heat. Slowly add in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
- Keep cooking and stirring until smooth and free of bubbles. This takes about 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat.
- Slowly stir in milk and return to heat, stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil.
- Slowly pour in the beer, cooking for an additional minute.
- Add cheddar cheese cubes to the mixture, slowly, until fully incorporated, then remove from heat.
- Serve over toast or Ciabatta bread.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.