Sinful Treat: The Welsh Rabbit

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No, the Welsh Rabbit has nothing to do with rabbits.

Welsh Rabbit

You see? No rabbits. Welsh Rabbit, or Welsh Rarebit (which was a term coined later on to avoid confusion with rabbits), is basically hot savory melted cheese served over bread. It is an old British tavern food that has been around since the 18th century. I tried to stay true to the original version as much as possible. Mine is made with Guinness and aged cheddar cheese.

I got carried away researching the history of the Welsh Rabbit and the origin of its name. Why the funny name? Oh some say that rabbit is a poor Englishman’s meat and cheese is a poor Welshman’s meat. And there are some who say that Welsh peasants were not allowed to eat rabbits on the estates of nobility, so they use cheese as a substitute. Here is my favorite one of all – there goes the saying “if a Welshman went rabbit hunting, cheese would be his supper.” I don’t know how believable any of these are, but a Welshman knows his food.

Seriously, sinfully delicious. Trust me, it is worth it.

Welsh Rabbit
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of good dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • 1/2 lb of cheddar cheese, shredded (preferably aged, I used 4-year aged Wisconsin cheddar cheese)
  • A few slices of wheat bread (or any kind of bread you prefer)

Recipe

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour, salt, pepper, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly add milk and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
  4. Pour in beer and cook for another minute.
  5. Stir in cheese and mix until melted and well incorporated.
  6. Remove from heat and ladle cheese sauce over wheat bread. Enjoy immediately.

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12 comments for “Sinful Treat: The Welsh Rabbit

  1. Faith
    July 4, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Too funny! I remember being delighted a couple years ago when I first discovered that there is no rabbit in Welsh Rabbit — I much prefer a flavorful cheesy sauce! 🙂 Love how you kept your recipe authentic, it looks incredible!

  2. Tiffany
    July 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    hot savory melted cheese served over bread! Count me in!

  3. Tina
    July 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    thanks for the information-now that I know what Welsh Rabbit is, I will gladly eat it. I am all for substituting cheese for rabbit!
    flourtrader.blogspot.com

  4. Junia
    July 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    wow thanks for the background info. this does not look like a poorman's meal at all. decadent to say the least!!! cheese + bread + beer = killer combo. have you tried beer bread before? it's AMAZING!!

  5. John
    July 5, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Cheese, bread, and Guinness (my fav beer) all in one dish? This is savory indeed, especially with that expert cheese pouring action!

  6. Lizzy
    July 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I'm with Tina…I never exactly knew what Welsh Rarebit was till today. And now that I've seen it, I'm having a huge craving for something yummy and cheesy like this! Great post~

  7. Peggy
    July 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Love the little tidbits of history on this dish! It's got Guinness in it, so it's a winner in my book =)

  8. BestOodles
    July 7, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for the history! I could use this dish since I have cheese sitting in the refrigerator, that need to use while I was looking for idea I stumble upon this recipe. Thank for sharing!

  9. Kelly
    July 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Mmmmmm, I love me some good beer-cheese sauce. I'll be trying this VERY SOON!

  10. Stephanie
    July 8, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Okay, I seriously have to make this like right now. LOL…it looks so good with the cheese being drizzled on like that. 🙂

  11. Chef Dennis
    July 10, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    OMG when i was growing up I absolutely loved Welsh Rarebit, I haven't thought about that in decades!
    I need to make this soon, it looks amazing, especially served over that wonderful bread!
    Cheers
    Dennis

  12. Anonymous
    July 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    This was a favorite of my Mom's. It was something that my Mom and I would have only occasionally. We would watch a late night movie and she would make it for the "2" of us. My younger sisters would be in bed. It was a Mom & daughter thing 🙂

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