Thursday, September 3, 2015

Serving Up Some Wascally Welsh Wabbit (or Warebit)

Today is Welsh Rarebit Day.....or Welsh Rabbit Day...depending on what you believe on the internet.

you say tomato...etc. etc.

Having never made Welsh Rarebit (or Rabbit) before, I had to peruse the internet to see just exactly what I was getting myself into.  I was expecting a laundry list of foods to have to buy (including a visit to the specialty butcher for rabbit or some other type of game), and a good 2-3 hours spent in the kitchen, cursing and wishing I had made this in the crock-pot earlier.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that not only did I NOT need rabbit, but I already had everything at home.  The recipe consists of the glorious simplicity of bread, cheese, beer and mustard.

Now before you go thinking this is just glorified cheese bread.  Well.  Yeah.  I guess it is glorified cheese bread.  But it's not what you're thinking.  You can't just throw a pile of shredded cheese on bread and call it Rarebit (or Rabbit).  There actually is a little more to the preparation than that - and although it doesn't take a long time to make, the combination of cheese, mustard and Worcestershire Sauce really is worth it.  I wasn't quite sure if a dinner of cheese and bread was going to fill me up (contrary to what my husband might say), but it did make for a nice little savory meal.

I'll admit I enhanced my meal just a little bit by adding some prosciutto and a little fresh tomato.  But it was still quite filling nonetheless.  So courtesy of my friends at, here is a very tasty recipe for Welsh Rarebit (or Rabbit):

Welsh Rarebit
1 tsp English mustard powder 
3 tbsp stout 
30g butter  (or about 1 tbsp)
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
175g lancashire cheese, grated  (approx 1/3 cup)
2 egg yolks 
2 slices bread 

1. Mix the mustard powder with a little stout in the bottom of a small pan to make a paste, then stir in the rest of the stout and add the butter and about 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce – you can always add more later if you like. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
2. Tip in the cheese and stir to melt, but do not let the mixture boil. Once smooth, taste for seasoning, then take off the heat and allow to cool until just slightly warm, being careful it doesn't solidify.
3. Pre-heat the grill to medium-high, and lightly toast the bread on both sides. Beat the yolks into the warm cheese until smooth, and then spoon on to the toast and broil until bubbling and golden. Serve immediately. (Serves 2)

A couple of things to note: 1) as a non-drinkin' gal, I don't exactly have the best selection of alcohol stashed away in my 'fridge I ended up using milk instead of stout.  It still came out really good - I imagine the stout would give it a slightly deeper flavor.  And from what I researched, most people preferred the stout, although ale came in a very close second.  2) I also didn't have any lancashire cheese handy, so I went with a very nice cheddar/mozzarella shred-it-myself blend.  Also...I'm sure lancashire would give it a different depth of flavor, but the basics worked nicely.  And 3) the type of bread can be anything from Brioche to English Muffin to biscuit.  Whatever you have that can withstand toasting will work. 

By the way, according to my good friends at Wikipedia, there is not only Welsh Rarebit, but Scotch and English as well.  Apparently, the Scotch Rarebit is just toasted bread and cheese.  Welsh Rarebit incorporates the use of mustard into the cheese and is then toasted on the bread.  Whereas the English Rarebit is bread soaked in wine, then toasted with cheese.

Gotta love the English.

So there you have it.  Go forth and celebrate National Welsh Rarebit (or Rabbit) Day.  

Bugs Bunny would approve.