Cheese on toast is always a brunch favorite. It’s quick and easy to make, and so delicious. This Welsh Rarebit uses stout, mustard seeds and Worcestershire sauce to give the cheese a malty savory edge.
If you have never heard of Welsh Rarebit before, it is a specialty recipe for cheese and toast. If you love cheese and you love bread, then Welsh Rarebit needs to be on the top of your list for dishes to try.
Welsh Rarebit is a specialty recipe pairing cheese and toast together
There are some recipes that I always follow to a T, and other recipes that I always treat as guidelines. Welsh Rarebit is definitely one of those recipes that you don’t have to follow exactly. There are endless ways to make Welsh Rarebit once you have the basic components down.
My recipe below is for a easy and simple Welsh Rarebit that is a solid workhorse recipe. But I really encourage you to play around with the different possible flavors until you end up with a recipe that is perfect for you and that you can call your own.
Welsh Rarebit is so quick and simple to make for brunch
I spent a good while debating whether the cheese or the bread is the most important part of Welsh Rarebit, but there’s no right answer to that question. The cheese provides the punch of flavor, but the bread is crucial to the texture of the dish.
Let’s start with the cheese. This recipe uses 100% strong Cheddar cheese because it gives the Welsh Rarebit an incredibly rich taste. It’s also a cheese that many stock in their refrigerator, so it’s a great starting point for a recipe.
But there are many alternatives you can use. Other hard English cheeses to try are double gloucester, cheshire, red leicester and lancashire. You can mix and match until you find one that gives you the richness, saltiness and tang that you like.
This Welsh Rarebit recipe can be easily tweaked to tailored to your preference
Second, the bread is an incredibly important component of Welsh Rarebit. Bread that is too flimsy (ie. sandwich bread) will end up soggy. A good bread will have a nice crust, and be soft on the inside, but still be able to hold the weight of the cheese.
Sourdough breads made with wheat flour or rye flour will give the Welsh Rarebit a heartier texture (my preference). White bread will give you a blank canvas for your cheese mixture. I would stay away from specialty breads though, such as french bread, ciabatta, flat bread.
You’ll also need some sort of liquid in your cheese mixture. I prefer stout, but you can use an ale or porter, or some other sort of liquid. Stout is made from roasted grains, and that process ends up giving the Welsh Rarebit a complex malty taste that you don’t get with ale. However, it is a subtle difference that could be covered up with the different seasonings that you use.
And lastly, you’ll likely want some sort of seasoning in your Welsh Rarebit mixture. I use Worcestershire sauce, mustard seed and black pepper. It’ a very conservative set of seasonings, but you can switch it up if you prefer.
You can use a different type of mustard (dijon, english mustard, whatever mustard you have in your refrigerator) or use no mustard. You can leave out the Worcestershire sauce, or use steak sauce or soy sauce instead. Or for a kick, you can even add in some cayenne or paprika, or even tabasco sauce.
Welsh Rarebit is a family friendly meal that everyone will love
You’ll nail down your own recipe for Welsh Rarebit at some point, but in the meantime the recipe below will give you a delicious Welsh Rarebit that will make for a scrumptious brunch.
Although it is still cheese on toast at the heart of this dish, the stout, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard seeds add a fuller and more complex flavor. Just a warning, if you weren’t addicted to cheese on toast already, you will be after having this Welsh Rarebit!
- 1/4 cup stout
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds
- salt - optional, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups grated strong Cheddar cheese
- 4 slices good quality crusty bread (I used sourdough)
In a small saucepan, simmer the stout until it reduces by about half the amount.
While the stout is simmering, butter both sides of the bread and lightly grill both sides.
Preheat the broiler in your oven.
When the stout is ready, remove from heat and mix in the Worcestershire, black pepper, mustard seeds, salt (if using) and cheese.
Distribute and spread the cheese mixture evenly over the grilled bread. Broil in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is nicely toasted and browned.