Traditional Welsh Rarebit Recipe
Traditional Welsh Rarebit Recipe is an open-faced grilled cheese or cheese on toast. Toasted bread slices are topped with a savory cheese sauce made from beer, cheese, butter, mustard, then browned in the oven to golden, bubbly perfection. This may just be the tastiest grilled cheese ever!
This easy, comfort food is basically a grown-up grilled cheese made with with beer, mustard and cheese. What’s not to love?
As a kid, cheese on toast, as we Brits call it, was one of my favorites things to eat. It was also a meal when my parents were out that I could make myself. Then I met Welsh rarebit.
Cheese on toast is just that, cheese melted on top of bread. A grilled cheese is cheese melted between 2 slices of bread cooked in a pan. Welsh rarebit is a toasted slice of bread topped with a cheese and beer sauce and broiled/grilled until the top is bubbly.
In Welsh it is called Mochyn Du. The recipe is over 2 centuries old and common in Southern and Western England and the rarebit/rabbit part is the cheese sauce that is poured over toasted bread.
Welsh Rarebit origin is a little sketchy, but it is said the dish was a way to highlight the Welsh wheat bread and cheese. Some say that toasted cheese is so popular in Wales that it spread like rabbits, others say only the wealthiest of people could afford to eat rabbit, so they alternative ‘Welsh rarebit’ was born. A much more appetizing name I think and since there is no rabbit in the dish, a more befitting name.
The best bread for Welsh rarebit
A good, hearty, thick sliced bread is optimal for this recipe. A bread that can hold up to the weight of the cheese sauce and not turn soggy on you. Sourdough or grain bread are all good choices.
Welsh rarebit without beer
If you don’t want to serve beer to your kids, you can substitute the beer for milk.
What do you serve with Welsh Rarebit?
I serve this Welsh Rarebit with a side of Warm Cherry Tomato and Basil Salad. You can also serve with a simple lettuce salad or a vegetable of your choice.
National Welsh Rarebit Day
Yes, it has a National Day and falls on 3rd September every year. I don’t know why, but there seems to be a National holiday for just about any food and dish, so why not.
Welsh Rarebit Cheese
A good sharp white cheddar is best for this recipe. If you can find a Welsh cheddar, even better. A grocery store with a large cheese department will most likely have white Welsh cheddar. I found it at my Kroger store. I have also seen it Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
Leftover cheese sauce
Sometimes when I make this, I have sauce leftover. It keeps well in a sealed container refrigerated for up to 4 days. Then you can enjoy Welsh rarebit for days.
Traditional Welsh Rarebit Recipe – Step by Step
Toast bread slices until browned on both sides.
Melt butter in a saucepan until bubbling.
Whisk flour into the melted butter and cook for 1 minute to cook out the flour taste.
Whisk dark ale, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder into the flour mix.
Add white sharp cheddar cheese and stir until completely melted and smooth.
Spread the cheese sauce onto the slices of toasted bread. Broil until melted, brown and bubbly.
If you’ve tried this Traditional Welsh Rarebit Recipe or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!