I don’t remember the first time I had the cheesy deliciousness that is Welsh Rabbit, but it is one of favorite dinners. My parents used to cook it for me when I was a child, and it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I learned how to make it. I know that it’s a popular pub food, as I had it on several of my trips to England/the United Kingdom. It tastes quite good with a pint of ale, and I don’t even like ale. The first time that I mentioned this recipe to Mellow Man he inquired about the word rabbit. No, Welsh Rabbit doesn’t have any meat in it, unless you add some bacon to the top, and it has no rabbit in it. The word Rabbit is pronounced RARE-bit, but is spelled like the furry little bunny. I don’t know why. You can read more about it on Wikipedia, of course. As I understand it, the original name of the dish was Welsh Rabbit, but some people have started to spell it like it is pronounced calling it Welsh Rarebit. I remember always seeing it in England with the word rabbit, and I know that the other place I have had the dish, Colonial Williamsburg, calls it Welsh Rabbit.
My grandmother’s favorite place in the entire world, besides her home, was Colonial Williamsburg, and she loved everything about the historic city, the food, the decorations, the gardens… I asked her if she knew a recipe for Welsh Rabbit, and this is the recipe that she gave me. It is the Colonial Williamburg recipe, but I’ve added my own twist of bacon because when doesn’t cheese go with bacon?! Please note that if you go to Williamsburg, you’ll get Welsh Rabbit on crusty homestyle bread and without bacon, but with a little sprig of parsley.
Welsh Rabbit Ingredients
- 1 pound (16 ounce) of Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 3/4 Cup of Ale (I go for a good English Ale, in the picture above I used Boddingtons. Sure you can use Bud Light, but think of what you’d get in a British Pub!)
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
First, you’ll need a double boiler, and you’ll melt your butter in double boiler. While you are melting the butter, pour your beer into a measuring cup, and then take a little ramekin and measure out 1.5 tablespoons of beer and put it into the ramekin. Mix with the beer in the small ramekin your mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper. Once the butter is melted, add in the cheddar cheese and beer. Stir regularly while the cheese melts.
The cheese here is almost melted, but has not been entirely mixed with the beer. When it reaches this stage, where it’s getting close to being fully melted and mixed together, add the ramekin with the beer and seasoning and stir well. Now, gently whisk your egg in another small dish, and then take the egg, and add it into the cheese mixture. Use your whisk to mix the egg thoroughly into the cheese, and to make sure that everything is well blended.
Once it is well blended and a smooth consistency with a medium thickness, it’s ready to serve. I serve the Welsh Rabbit with bacon on top, but that’s just me. We like bacon around here, and since Mellow Man loves his bacon, but isn’t crazy about cheese, I can at least get him to eat the dish! I’ve served the Welsh Rabbit with english muffins, crusty bread and just a regular loaf of whole wheat. The choices are endless. I like to use broccoli or asparagus as a side because you can dip them in the yummy cheese sauce!
Have you made Welsh Rabbit before? Have you had it in England or Williamsburg? Here’s me on my last trip to Williamsburg (taken by my wonderful Mellow Man)!
Yum! I want some more right now!