Mike Hendry’s ultimate Welsh Rarebit recipe

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)

150ml milk

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

Parmesan cheese

Method

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?

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As seen on Wales Online. To see the article, please click here.

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Mike Hendry’s ultimate pedal power recipe: Trio of Welsh lamb with asparagus and wild garlic

Did you know that cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK? Every month just over three million Brits hop on their bikes, and go for a cycle.

Whether it’s to boost fitness, help the environment or save money, cycling in the great outdoors is an activity that can be enjoyed by all, particularly during balmy long summer days.

Here at Llansantffraed Court, we are blessed with having miles of beautiful countryside right on our doorstep. Whether it’s speeding along rural biking trails through lush valleys, or finding majestic castles, idyllic riverside picnic spots and hidden beauty spots, Monmouthshire is perfect for those who enjoy exploring Wales on two wheels. And if you fancy pedalling a bit further afield, a 35-minute cycle will take you to the border of the Brecon Beacons where you can discover all the national park has to offer.

Cycling all those miles can be hungry work, so if you’re planning on jumping on a bike and heading a long way this summer, it’s important to eat a hearty meal beforehand – or have a delicious tea to look forward to. Here our Head Chef Mike Hendry shares his favourite seasonal treat to give you that extra ‘oomph’ when pushing up the steepest of hills.

Trio of Lamb, Asparagus, Wild Garlic (Serves Two)

1 lamb loin, portioned to 150g

100g lamb sweet breads, floured

100g asparagus

500g wild garlic

250g butter

1 potato diced

400ml chicken stock

For lamb kofta

100g lamb mince

20g cumin powder

10g diced shallot

1 garlic clove

1/2 chili

20g coriander

Sauté shallots, garlic, herbs and spices and then mix with mince. Mold into balls that weigh approximately 40g each for the lamb koftas. Fry in a little hot oil until cooked through.

For asparagus

Cook in butter and 200ml chicken stock emulsion until tender.

For lamb

Place loin in hot pan, skin side down and sear for 3 minutes until golden. Turn and seal until all flesh has a little colour. Add some butter and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Take off pan and leave to rest. Meanwhile, add sweet breads and kofta into another hot pan and cook until golden brown in a little butter.

For wild garlic puree

Sauté wild garlic in butter until soft and then set some aside. Add 200ml chicken stock, bring to boil quickly then blitz in food processor until smooth.

For crispy potato

Deep fry diced potato in hot oil at 180 degrees.

To assemble

Spoon some puree onto the plate, arrange the sautéed wild garlic on top. Place the lamb loin, kofta, sweetbreads around and garnish with asparagus and crispy potato.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick a route, get your bike out of the shed and start enjoying the many benefits that cycling has to offer. Mike’s delicious lamb recipe will make sure that you have the necessary pedal power, no matter how challenging the ride.

Lamb loin, kofta, wild garlic and asparagus photo[3]