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Dewhursts' Welsh rarebit recipe

Dewhursts' Welsh rarebit recipe

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My mother tried to get me to eat more eggs as a child for protein, however due to my intolerance to the taste and texture of cooked eggs she was unable to get me to eat them. It was when I was in my early teens I discovered I was capable of eating cooked egg yolk providing not even a trace of egg white was added, so she came up with this version of Welsh rarebit and it's been a family tradition since.

Cheshire, England, UK

5 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 150ml milk or beer
  • 150g grated mature cheese
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 salad tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcester sauce
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 slices bread

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:5min ›Ready in:15min

  1. Preheat a grill on a high heat.
  2. Warm the milk or beer in a saucepan until just above lukewarm. Whisk in the egg yolks and add the cheese, tomato, Worcester sauce and seasoning. Cook on a medium heat stirring continuously until the cheese has melted.
  3. Lightly toast bread in a toaster or under a grill and spread the rarebit over the toast. Add a couple of splashes of Worcester sauce place under a hot grill for about a minute or two and serve.


Way too many Welsh rarebits call for using huge amounts of cheese in order to attain the taste and texture of toasted cheese, but proper Welsh rarebit should be a creamy texture like cream cheese and lightly toast with a light golden brown under a grill.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

This was a delightful version of Welsh rarebit. Creamy, crunchy and satisfying - everything you want in a rarebit. Da iawn!-28 Jan 2014

Easy Traditional Welsh Rarebit | Toast With Cheese Sauce

Welsh Rarebit is a robust cheese sauce made with a nutty roux, beer, sharp cheddar, mustard, worcestershire and a pinch of cayenne. This cheesy goodness is drizzled over toasted bread and is traditional pub fare dating back to the 1700’s. The original cheese toast. If you don’t want beer, just substitute wine or apple cider, easy!

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Welsh Rarebit

“I am a Welshman. I do love cause boby [sic], good roasted cheese.’ First Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge, Andrew Boorde, 1547.

What is Welsh Rarebit?
This traditional Welsh dish is perhaps the most famous Welsh dish of them all and one which, along with Irish Stew and Scottish Haggis, travelled the world over. There is much debate as to where the name derives from. Some say it comes simply from ”˜rare’ (lightly cooked) and ”˜bit’ (small portion) others believe it derives from the traditional Welshman’s inability to catch a rabbit leaving him to use cheese as a poor alternative! Welsh Rarebit is called Caws Pobi in the Welsh language.

8oz grated, strong cheese such as Cheddar or Cheshire
1 tablespoon Welsh butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 level teaspoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons flour
4 tablespoons Welsh beer (or milk)
shake of pepper
4 slices bread toasted on 1 side only

Put the cheese, flour, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, butter and pepper into a saucepan. Mix well and then add the beer or milk to moisten. Do not make it too wet. Stir over a gentle heat until all is melted, and when it is a thickish paste, stop stirring, and swivel it around the saucepan, which it will do quite easily. Leave to cool a little, and meanwhile toast the bread on one side only. Spread the rarebit over the untoasted side and brown under a hot grill. This mixture can be made and kept in the refrigerator for several days if required. Sweet white wine can be used instead of beer and gives a good flavour. Various recipes for Welsh rarebit include the addition of ground paprika and cayenne pepper. Serves 4.

I n the United States, a frozen prepared sauce sold under the Stouffer’s brand name can be found in supermarkets.

Our self catering holiday cottages have fully equipped kitchens ideal for trying out some of these Welsh recipes.

I am a food blog

Yesterday Mike and I had a little midnight snack! We aren’t really midnight snackers, but I had just finished watching Blue is the Warmest Color and was feeling peckish – there are a lot of spaghetti shots in the movie. Which is very long and very French and very much full of sexy lesbian scenes. It won a Palme D’or in 2013 and is very highly regarded, except on Netflix, where it has a rating of one star. When Mike suggested it I was a little skeptical but was very quickly drawn in. Mike not so much because he fell asleep. The acting was excellent so I recommend it if you like foreign films about the exquisite ecstasy of falling in and out of love.

Anyway, when I finished the movie and woke Mike up, we decided we’d have a little bit of fun and shoot a post, casual style. I’ve always wanted to make Welsh rarebit and we magically had all of the ingredients in the fridge, so we went for it! Welsh rarebit, or rabbit, as it’s called sometime, is a classic British dish of melty beer-y cheese on toast. It sounds pretty simple but like most simple things in life, it is absolutely bomb, especially at 2 in the morning. Welsh rarebit is so much more than cheese on toast, especially when you use quality ingredients. You need good bread and you defintely need aged cheddar.

Welsh Rarebit or Caws Pobi is a Grilled Sandwich

  1. Grate the cheese
  2. Slowly melt butter and milk in a small saucepan
  3. Add the cheese, salt and pepper and heat till it&aposs thickened and melted but not boiled. (Add the Worcester Sauce/mustard when the cheese has melted)
  4. Slice the bread
  5. Lightly toast the bread in the toaster so it is palely toasted
  6. Butter the toast
  7. Pour the hot cheese mixture over the buttered toast
  8. Grill till nice and brown on top
  9. Serve
  10. Add the mustard or Worcestershire sauce or both if you prefer

Dewhursts' Welsh rarebit recipe - Recipes

welsh rarebit ingredients:

1 oz (25 g) unsalted butter

1 oz or about 1/4 cup (25 g) all purpose flour

3½fl oz (l00ml) dark ale beer (I use Skirrid Welsh bitter from the Tudor Brewery)

5oz (150 g) mature Cheddar cheese, grated (I love Colliers Welsh cheddar)

1 tsp English mustard, (I love Dragon Mustard which is mustard spiced with red chili.)

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Pinch of cayenne pepper (if you like spicy)

4 slices of homemade Seaweed Soda Bread or sourdough

freshly ground black pepper (optional as a seasoning)

Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook over a low heat for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Slowly add the beer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth.

Add the cheese, egg yolk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper. Cook until the cheese melts, stirring constantly.

Season with freshly ground black pepper and set aside to cool.

Place the bread on a baking tray and toast on each side until golden-brown. Spread the cheese sauce thickly over the bread, making sure the slices are completely covered so the edges don&rsquot burn. Place in a toaster oven or on broil for 20-30 seconds longer until lightly browned and bubbling.

Why do they call it Welsh Rarebit?

And speaking of tradition, did you know that the Welsh Rarebit began as Welsh Rabbit? The original name caused some confusion considering that no rabbits are now or were ever harmed in the making of it. As Wikipedia explains: "The word rarebit is a corruption of rabbit, "Welsh rabbit" being first recorded in 1725 and the variant "Welsh rarebit" being first recorded in 1785 by Francis Grose." You may even find it on menus as "English rabbit" or "Scotch rabbit."

Whatever you call it, it’s absolutely delicious and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes.

You need only three ingredients to make an excellent grilled cheese sandwich: bread, most any variety will do cheese, as long as it melts and butter because it really does make everything better. But this isn't that kind of sandwich. It's related, but in a rowdy cousin kind of way.

It's complex, but not complicated. You can easily adjust the recipe to serve two or ten. Serve as an appetizer, or lunch or dinner as a side dish to steaming hot bowls of creamy Tomato Bisque.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 ounces aged cheddar cheese, shredded (3 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup brown ale, such as Samuel Smith&rsquos
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of country bread, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour, dry mustard, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the cheese, ale, and Worcestershire sauce, and cook over moderately low heat, whisking, until the cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes.

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 4 inches from the heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange the toasts on top. Spoon the cheddar mixture over the toasts, and broil until bubbling and browned around the edges, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with chives, and serve.

Welsh Rarebit Grilled Cheese

Ingredients US Metric

  • 4 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the bread
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ale, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste


In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and flour and stir constantly until the butter is melted and the mixture forms a paste, which ought to take just a couple minutes. Continue to cook, still stirring constantly, for another minute to ensure the resulting sauce doesn’t have a floury taste.

Gradually pour in the ale and continuously stir until the mixture thickens, anywhere from almost immediately to a few minutes later.

Add the mustard, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper and stir until the cheese has completely melted, 2 to 5 minutes. The sauce will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Keep stirring until the cheese has completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat.

Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange 2 slices, butter side down, in a large heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, off the heat. Top each slice with enough cheese sauce to cover the bread and then gently place the remaining 2 slices of bread on top, buttered-side up. (Some of the cheese sauce is probably going to squish out into the pan. That’s okay. It will crisp nicely.)

Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the bread is golden brown on the first side, about 4 minutes. Then grab a large spatula and carefully—we do mean carefully—flip the sandwiches. This may get a little messy. The cheese sauce is quite runny and chances are it will leak out of the bread and into your skillet. Any spilled sauce forms a delicious cheese crisp.

Cook until the other side is golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Transfer each grilled cheese sandwich to your cutting board and let cool for a few minutes before cutting in half—preferably on the diagonal—and serving. Any leftover cheese sauce can be covered, tossed in the fridge, rewarmed another day, and spooned over steamed broccoli or cauliflower or used to make Welsh rarebit (see Variation below). Originally published October 5, 2015.

Welsh Rarebit Variation

For a more classic Welsh rarebit, make the cheese sauce as directed. Omit the whole notion of making grilled cheese and instead generously slather the cheese sauce over a slice of toast and run it under the broiler until bubbly. Serve with a knife and fork.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This Welsh rarebit grilled cheese is a more decadent, flavorful, and sophisticated version of a simple grilled cheese sandwich. Having recently spent some time in London, I can say that this sandwich is distinctively British but takes the familiar form of a grilled cheese sandwich. The ale and ground mustard give the cheese spread a more heightened, upscale flavor, and the Worcestershire sauce adds depth and savoriness.

After adding the cheese, the sauce almost gets slippery at the bottom of the pan while trying to mix in and melt the cheese. The cheese sauce had a nice consistency, and I was surprised that the sauce didn't ooze out of the sandwich while cooking. The recipe does make quite a bit of sauce, easily making 2 good-size sandwiches or even 3 smaller ones. I didn't get much heat, but rather more of an essence, from the good pinch of cayenne pepper I added.

This is a delicious sandwich that will satisfy any grilled cheese lover. Serve it with creamy tomato soup or a peppery arugula salad and you'll have a very satisfying lunch or light dinner. Add an ice-cold hard cider, and you'll have a meal worthy of any London pub.

Once I saw this recipe, I knew it would be my reward for shoveling the 4 feet of snow blocking my sidewalk and path. It's the quintessential cold-weather food and brings so much more flavor to the table than your typical grilled cheese sandwich.

The mustard powder, beer, and Worcestershire sauce add such a great punch to the filling. It took about 20 minutes from the start of prep to grilling the sandwiches, making this a very weeknight- and lunchtime-friendly dish, and I certainly recommend this to anyone coming in out of the cold. The sauce came together quickly, and the roux smoothed out and thickened very quickly once the beer was added. Keeping the heat on low, I was able to slowly melt the cheese into the sauce until it was silky and smooth.

I used Belhaven Wee Heavy, a strong, malty Scottish beer, as my ale, and it was well-suited to this preparation. I used Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar.

Starting the sandwich off in a cold pan worked just fine, as it allowed everything to slowly heat through rather than just crisping the outside very quickly with the inside remaining cold. Roughly 4 minutes on the first side and 2 on the other is accurate.

The sauce is very runny, so beware a lot of oozing while cooking. I will say that the leaking sauce formed a delicious cheese crust once it cooked in the pan a little, if you're into that kind of thing. I would recommend serving this sandwich with a crisp salad with a bright dressing. It's nice to accompany it with some acid to cut through the richness of the sandwich. This is a RICH dish.

With the caveat that this recipe is messy, gooey, and lushly delicious in an evil way, I find that this version of melted cheese on bread had just enough flavor and gooeyness to quiet all conversation at the table, which is my gold standard.

Welsh rarebit is a pub, tearoom, or home-kitchen dish that I have been unable to resist for most of my double-digit years. Rarebit with a whole-grain or seeded bread, some sliced apples or chutney on the side, and a pot of tea, and I am transported to the creekside tearoom in rural Cumbria! This recipe almost gets me there. It is a delicious but seriously gooey hot mess, in a good, eat-at-home sort of way.

Because the cheesy sauce is already fully liquid, when you attempt to spoon it onto the prepared bread, it wants to run off the bread onto the pan. Because of that, you will probably realize, as we did, that there was enough cheese for at least 4 servings made this way. Don’t worry about the cheese running over the sides of the bread onto your skillet. Use a heavy one like cast-iron, and the cheese that melts on the pan will get crisp browned edges. Turning it over is a bit of a two-handed trick, with a spatula in one hand and maybe tongs in the other. This would work just as well with a traditional open-face plating over toasted bread if you have just made the sauce.

If you weren't too greedy, put aside some sauce for the next day, toast your bread, and spread the very easy-to-handle chilled rarebit sauce so it completely covers the top of the toast. Then pop it under a broiler (about 5 inches away) just until it bubbles and starts to brown but not burn. Much less fuss and about as quick as turning on the broiler and slicing the bread! I used an ale that was about 5% alcohol by volume, close to a British ale, and even something nuttier or closer to a stout would work well—just make it something you want to drink since the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup. The method of putting the flour in right at the beginning before melting the butter and stirring it as it melts was a surprise, but I think it yielded a really nice sauce, quicker than a traditional béchamel.

The level of heat from the English mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne was just right, and I wouldn't want to tart it up with any gimmicks. I used an aged, organic English Cheddar. While the sauce was pulling away from the sides of the pan quite quickly, I continued until every bit of cheese had melted. There was a bit of fat (maybe from the cheese and butter) that wanted to separate from the rest of the sauce, but I stirred it as best as I could before assembling the grilled sandwiches. I used a saucier pan with a rounded bottom, which made stirring with a silicone spatula easy. I made a ciabatta especially for this, but on the second day, I served the rarebit on a seeded wheat. Both were good, though I would give the gnarlier bread a slight edge since that is how I usually find it at a favorite mid-journey tearoom stop when we are visiting England. It is there that I noticed the clever trick of making the sauce ahead in large batches, and spreading it on the toasted bread to order, as needed, and broiled (or grilled, in Brit speak). This recipe made a lovely cheesy sauce that doesn’t need egg or cream (save that for Delia Smith's rarebit soufflé).

I would gladly eat this sauce spooned over broccoli and cauliflower! Using a cold cast-iron skillet, I gave each side about 4 minutes. I did try it with a heated stainless-steel skillet on a second attempt but was not as happy with the result, and I think the cast-iron will work well on any heat source. I think the extra bread and butter might make this a more substantial (or excessive) meal, but the recipe would be just as satisfying served open-faced and broiled.

You can't really go wrong with hot cheese on bread. This Welsh rarebit grilled cheese was just a slightly more complex and messy version of the grilled cheese most of us are used to. I served it to a cheese toastie-loving Brit, assuming he'd heard of Welsh rarebit before, but he hadn't. Nonetheless, we found it to be rich, satisfying, and snowstorm-appropriate food, good with any manner of meaty, vegetal, and malty accompaniments.

Take heed, though: If you tell your eaters you're making grilled cheese, you should enlighten them about the texture beforehand, which is more like a sandwiched fondue. Since I only shared the recipe's name with my crowd, the gooeyness of a classic grilled cheese was expected and thus missed. Take caution when pouring the sauce onto the bread, too, as this recipe makes quite a lot, and it'll run right off the slices and make for messy flipping if overfilled. Of course, at worst, that just results in charred, crusty bits of cheese to snack on as you wait. The cheese is so oozy that you really can't pile on too much or it spills out the sides and burns. The mustard really comes through, almost overwhelmingly so. My tasters and I love mustard, so it wasn't offputting, but you may want to add it to taste or crank up the cayenne and Worcestershire.

The most Irish members of the family—my husband and my younger daughter—LOVED this Welsh rarebit grilled cheese sandwich recipe. My older daughter and I also liked it, yet we are still partial to the Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese. This recipe takes a little longer to make.

I used both gluten-free and regular ciabatta breads, and I made the Welsh rarebit sauce with gluten-free all-purpose flour. After adding the ale, it took a good 6 minutes to thicken the sauce. Once the cheese and other ingredients were added, it took about 3 minutes for everything to be nicely integrated. In my mind, the sauce could have been a tad thicker. Once we started sautéing the sandwiches, the timing was perfect. Some of the sauce came out of the bread but not so much that it became a problem.

The result was a very heavy and filling yet tasty grilled cheese. The ale taste was pretty prominent. One sandwich is more than enough per person. I ended up with quite a bit of leftover sauce, which I used the next day on pasta.

From assembling the ingredients to sitting down at the table, this Welsh rarebit grilled cheese sandwich recipe was ready in less than 15 minutes. The flavor is wonderful—strong Cheddar, mustard, and ale. We poured the sauce over sourdough bread and served the same ale we put into the rarebit to drink. YUM.

We didn't use up even half the sauce for 1 sandwich, as it would have been too much for each of us. We had a bit left over, which we served over steamed broccoli the next day. This is a super snack or could be a meal with a crisp salad.


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Steps to make Real Welsh Rarebit

Melt butter

Place ¼ cup of butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat.

Add flour and seasoning

Mix in ¼ cup of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, ¼ teaspoon of mustard, ¼ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and 2 drops of Tabasco sauce. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until the sauce is smooth and bubbly.

Pour in the milk

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the milk gradually before returning to the heat. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly.

Add beer

Slowly add ½ a cup of beer and cook for 1 minute, still stirring.

Add small portions of the Cheddar cheese until it is completely incorporated. Remove from heat.


Serve poured over toasted bread or toasted English muffins.

This Real Welsh Rarebit is total comfort food. Cheesy sauce, flavored with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and beer. Try it out soon and don’t forget to come back to leave a comment below.

Jeff is a 38-year-old bachelor who prefers not to waste his time on salads and light meals. He’s a true carnivore who knows how to enjoy food to the max! Jeff will tell you how to cook rich and filling meals from scratch, bringing some real meaty decadence to your kitchen. His recipes are sure to satisfy every meat lover!


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