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Real Welsh Rarebit has beer in it. Wait what!?

What's in Welsh rarebit sauce?

It’s a cheese dish. It can be made with milk or with beer. It’s hot and gooey and served over toast. It’s fast and easy to make. Welsh Rabbit as we know it begins in 18th-century Britain. The first recorded mention appeared in 1725, but by the time 20th-century America rolled around, it had settled into the life of home kitchens as an inexpensive dish almost any cook could successfully prepare.

People may think Welsh rarebit is just a variation of cheese on toast, but Welsh rarebit's cheese has a whole lot more going on. To make cheese on toast, all you have to do is slice some cheese and toast it with a piece of bread, but Welsh rarebit requires a little more culinary skill and is cooked separately from the toast.

Welsh rarebit sauce typically includes butter, milk, beer, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, ground black pepper, all-purpose flour, salt, and Cheddar cheese. Some recipes may substitute hot sauce for Worcestershire, while others incorporate heavy cream or even egg yolks to give the cheese sauce an even more luscious texture.

How do I make Welsh rarebit?


  • ¼ cup butter

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard

  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 drops hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco®) (Optional)

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • ½ cup beer

  • ½ pound Cheddar cheese, shredded

Welsh rarebit is a relatively quick and simple dish to prepare. First, you'll need to prepare the sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, then add flour and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes while being careful not to brown the flour. Mix in your seasonings and whisk until very smooth.

Next, mix in your beer, then pour in your thickening agent (whether it's milk or heavy cream), and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the Cheddar, and whisk until smooth for about 5 minutes.

Once the sauce is complete, you'll let it cool for 5 minutes, and whisk in egg yolks if you're using them.

In the meantime, preheat your oven's broiler, and set your oven rack about six inches from the heat source. Toast your slices of bread on one side, and then place them on a sheet pan, toasted side down. Spoon the cheese sauce on the untoasted side. Place the tray in the oven and broil for 2 to 3 minutes.

What do I serve with Welsh rarebit?

Welsh rarebit is a simple dish, but the cheese sauce is rich, so if you do decide to serve it with something, choose a lighter option, like a salad.

Real Welsh Rarebit is total comfort food. Cheesy sauce, flavored with mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and beer.

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