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.

In 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.