If it were up to me, melted cheese on toast would be acceptable sustenance for snacks and meals alike. In fact, forget the melting part; toast, butter and the sliced fromage will do just fine. But others (grumpy family members) don’t agree that simply swapping aged cheddar for Oka is a “whole new meal.”
So here’s my lazy solution, Welsh Rarebit, also known as Welsh Rabbit, is essentially a savory melted cheese sauce, poured over toast and then broiled and browned. (Yes, in the UK cheese sauce can be a main course.)
The name originated as a tongue-in cheek reference to a meat-less meal made from whatever was left in the pantry or one could afford. So I will lean on tradition and call this a perfect, well-rounded supper—ideal for the Sunday night “Oh God, is tomorrow Monday?” blues.
Traditionally made with cheddar, you can swap in any cheese on hand (that’s the point I believe) but I’m going to go with Lancashire (for tanginess) and some Oka (for the nutty, fruity quality) in this recipe.
Welsh Rarebit (one of many versions)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup Guinness beer
¾ cup cream (less for a thicker sauce)
1 ½ cups shredded cheese (1 cup Lancashire, ½ cup Oka in this case)
salt (adjust to taste , some cheeses are saltier than others)
fresh ground pepper
8 slices toasted sourdough or rye
- In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter until foaming subsides. Add the flour and whisk it in until you form a smooth past (a roux). You do not want the roux to brown at all.
- Take the roux off the burner and cool slightly (so will not splatter) when you add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until smooth and then back on medium-low heat add the beer.
- Now add the cream and whisk until the sauce thickens, this will take a couple minutes. You don’t want this to boil, if it does just lower the heat.
- Pull the sauce off the heat and slowly add the cheese. It should melt easily, (if you need to you can throw the sauce back on the heat for a minute as you stir). Set aside, keep warm.
- Season to taste.
- Turn on your broiler or preheat the oven to 500°F (260° C).
- Toast the bread until crisp (to avoid sogginess once cheese is added)
- Put the bread on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pour the sauce over each piece. Broil until browning slightly (1-2 minutes).
- Allow to cool slightly -so it can be handled- and serve to salivating dinner companions. (Don’t forget to drink the remaining beer!)
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK
chatteringkitchen.com, who first generously posted this as a guest blog this week–do check her out.
and also mention Mr. Cardwell who wrote a comment on the Fromage Fort post asking me to do a little testing and come up with a recipe. I took inspiration from this great Welsh Rarebit link he sent from The Guardian.
3 responses to “Toast Post: Welsh Rarebit”
WOW! This looks so frickin’ good I can’t stand it. Why do I always read your blog when I’m hungry? I can’t wait to try – thank you! I am a BIG believer that cheese is a main course, especially since I went vegetarian.
Yes, cheese apparently has all the nutrients one requires except for fibre and vitamin C….so there!
I’m making a onion rabbit this weekend! it’s a Nigel Slater recipe – with onions and cheese. I’ll let you know how it goes!