As many people across Wales will know, today is Welsh Rarebit Day. As treasured as rugby and Brains beer, what better way to celebrate one of the country’s most iconic signature dishes than by cooking it yourself?
Dating back to the 18th century, and reflecting a time where meat was a scarce luxury in Wales, lots of people say that Welsh Rarebit originated from Welsh rabbit, but there is no real evidence to actually support this.
Welsh Rarebit is so much more than fancy cheese on toast, and is made with high-quality ingredients, including Welsh cheese, beer, mustard and freshly baked sourdough bread. With the Autumn months just around the corner, this dish really does hit the comfort food spot.
Over the years, many families have developed their own recipes for this traditional Welsh dish, our Head Chef Mike Hendry included. Here, Mike shares his favourite Welsh Rarebit recipe, with an extra cheesy twist!
Ingredients- Makes 8
20g butter (Welsh unsalted)
20g flour (plain)
80g Welsh cheese (Gorwydd Caerphilly works well)
½ bottle of Brains beer (or dark)
2 egg yolks (Medium free range)
8 thick slices of sourdough bread
Begin by melting all of the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat but don’t let it colour. Slowly add the flour and stir until the mixture becomes a smooth paste that leaves the sides and base of the pan. Then, add the milk a little bit at a time to the pan and whisk until the mixture is smooth between each addition.
In a separate bowl, mix together the grated cheese and two egg yolks. Then add this mixture into the roux in the saucepan, turn the heat down a little and stir until the cheese has melted. Turn it off and leave it to rest.
In another saucepan, add the beer and boil until it has reduced by half. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of English mustard. After stirring, add this mixture to the other cheese mixture, and stir until the sauce is thick and smooth.
Slice fresh sourdough into 8 slices, and toast lightly under the grill. Spread the cheese sauce thickly over the toast, making sure the slices are completely covered. Put the toast under the grill for 2 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Then add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top and grill for another minute until lightly browned and bubbling. Allow to cool slightly, then serve.
Whether you whip up Mike’s Welsh rarebit recipe for lunch, or even as an afternoon snack, it’s quick to make and bursting with traditional flavours. Why not send us pictures of your Welsh Rarebits to @LLCHotel?
As seen on Wales Online. To see the article, please click here.