Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rabbit
Welsh rabbit? Or Welsh rarebit?

I've always loved Welsh rarebit. Mom used to make it up fairly regularly with bacon and tomatoes and dinner would be wonderful. I was shown an old post of mine on Facebook where I described the recipe and that prompted me to do some research and put up a recipe. The best information I found on the tradition of Welsh rarebit was by Kacie at The Rare Welsh Bit blog, (see the wordplay there? Awesome). She writes about traditional Welsh foods and provides some good history. Here's what she writes about the name:

Welsh rarebit is also known as Welsh rabbit because it originated in the 1500s as a popular dish among Welsh working class families, many of whom couldn’t afford to eat meat like rabbit. Instead, they’d cook Welsh rarebit – it was a Welsh man’s version of ‘rabbit’.

The first ever recorded mention of the dish was in 1725, in John Byron’s Literary Remains: ‘I did not eat of cold beef, but of Welsh rabbit and stewed cheese.’ Many people believe Welsh rarebit should still be referred to as Welsh rabbit to this day.

Since it was originally termed Welsh rarebit back in the 1500s, that's what I'm going to continue to call it. 😁


Ingredients:

  • 10 to 12 Oz. cheddar cheese
  • Splash of beer
  • 1.5 Tbs butter
  • 1.5 Tbs flour
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard or 1 Tsp mustard powder
  • 4 thick slices of good quality bread

What to do with them:

  1. Put butter in a saucepan over medium heat and, as it melts, stir in flour.
  2. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in mustard, then whisk in beer and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. When mixture is uniform, turn heat to low and stir in cheese, again stirring until smooth.
  5. Spread over bread and eat! You can also put the bread on a baking sheet, add the cheese sauce, and put it under the broiler to brown the cheese.
From Foodie With Family

Welsh Rarebit

This recipe is from a nice website called Foodie With Family

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette sliced in half as if for a sandwich, then divided in half lengthwise to yield 4 pieces (or use rye bread)
  • 4 Tbs butter softened or melted
  • 4 sweet onions peeled, sliced into 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick slabs
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 24 Oz thick sliced bacon cooked 'til crispy
  • 1 or 2 (depending on size of bread) beefsteak tomatoes sliced thickly
  • 4 to 6 slices of thick-cut bacon - 4 with rye bread, 6 with the baguette

For the Welsh Rabbit Sauce:

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beer preferably ale (Guinness works)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tsp mustard powder preferably Coleman's Mustard powder
  • 0.5 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 0.5 Tsp paprika
  • 4 Tsp Dijon mustard grainy or smooth
  • 12 Oz sharp cheddar shredded, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 egg yolks

Instructions

  1. Cook up the bacon first till it's crispy. I cook mine in the oven at 400° and this helps the oven be ready to toast the bread.
  2. Set your oven's broiler to HIGH. Arrange the bread, cut side up, on a cookie sheet. Spread or brush a thin layer of butter over the baguette slices and pop the pan under the broiler. Toast until the bread is uniformly golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside. You can just toast rye bread in the toaster.
  3. Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When it is shimmery, lay the onion slabs in the pan and let them fry 3-4 minutes on one side, undisturbed, or until you can ease a spatula underneath, lift it gently, and find it to be golden brown.
  4. Gently turn each over to fry for another 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown on the second side. Transfer to a plate and tent gently with foil.
  5. Return the pan to the burner, adjust the heat to low, and melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and whisk it in. Toast for 1 minute, or until fragrant, whisking the whole time. Make sure NOT to brown the flour.
  6. Whisk in the beer until smooth, then the milk. Whisk in the dry mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and Dijon mustard until perfectly smooth. Stir in the grated cheese until melted, then remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolk.
  7. Let it simmer slowly for a few minutes to cook up the egg yolks, I usually give it about 5 minutes.
  8. Put the toast on the plate and the put the bacon slices down on top of it, and then the tomato slices on top of  the bacon. I use 1 slice of bacon cut in half per piece of rye toast. Baguettes can old more. If the tomatoes are huge you might be only able to fit one slice on top of rye slices. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the slices and serve it up!