WELSH RAREBIT (OR RABBIT) IS A WELSH DISH consisting of a mixture of cheddar cheese, beer, and seasonings served over toast. The cheese mixture can also be toasted on the bread, which is what I did. It is usually served as a main course, or for high tea, and often accompanied with tomatoes.
Did you know that if you top it with a poached egg it becomes a Golden Buck?
Most Americanized versions of this dish are truly not much more than a Mornay sauce with a splash of beer for tradition's sake. Also the Dijon or whole grain mustards used in many recipes are too sharp for my taste. I prefer using English mustard powder and of course Worcestershire sauce. I will pass on the hot sauce and cayenne called for in many recipes--the English mustard gives just the hint of heat desired, for my palate.
I did not start my sauce with a roux. No flour was used. Instead, I used egg yolks to thicken the sauce a bit. I also used stout as my beer of choice. And I chose a lovely Lancashire cheese which I hand grated.
For the bread, I selected a dense and seedy whole grain loaf. It was perfect to absorb the thinnish cheese sauce. They melded together while baking. After baking, a short trip under the broiler made the rarebits nicely browned and crunchy on top while the inside remained moist, cheesy, and tender. Superb.
1/2 cup stout
1 1/2 tsp. English mustard powder
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, more to taste
10 ounces Lancashire cheese, or other English cheddar, grated
3 egg yolks
4 slices bread
Mix the stout, mustard powder, butter and Worcestershire sauce in a small pan. Stir to combine well and heat gently until the butter has melted.
Stir in the cheese until melted and don't let it boil. When the mixture is smooth, taste for seasonings and take off the heat. Let cool until only slightly warm, stirring occasionally to prevent it from solidifying.
Toast the bread lightly on each side and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the yolks into the warm cheese until smooth. Spoon onto the toasts and cook until bubbling and golden, about 15 minutes. Place under broiler to brown, if desired.
Serve piping hot.