Welsh Rare Recipe (15 minutes)

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Welsh rare is a curious name for a dish that is so storied—some sources even date the earliest versions back to the Middle Ages. Ironically, of English (not Welsh) origin, “rare” is known to be a corruption of “rabbit”, and it is likely that the English gave the Welsh their apparent love of grilled cheese and the real rabbit. There was a tease about not being able to afford it. The best neighborhood brawl!

Welsh rarefied toast is made a bit fancy, but thanks to a few key ingredients it's not at all difficult and full of flavour. There are so many variations that it is possible that no two people will agree on the way to prepare it.

What almost everyone can agree on is the best time to eat: late at night, either at a bar or after a bar. However, you don't have to be a regular at the local pub to enjoy this relaxed, cheerful creation—it's perfect anytime.

Just recipes / Ciara Kehoe


Tips for choosing the best ingredients

Because Welsh Rabbit contains so few ingredients, each must be of the best quality.

  • Cheese: A good quality, sharp cheddar is a must. The beloved Vermont-based Cabot is delicious and available at grocery stores nationwide. If for some reason cheddar isn't your vibe, add in a nutty cheese like Comte, gruyère, or Gouda.
  • Bread: There's a time and a place for Wonder Bread, and this isn't it. Your bread should be firm, thick slices that stay under the broiler. A kacha khata or country-style roti would be your best bet, if you can get it from a bakery, not a supermarket shelf. Just make sure that whatever bread you buy has a relatively hard crust on the inside. Slices with large bubbles are not quite right for Welsh Rabbit, as your cheese will ooze out of the gaps.
  • Beer: The third rule of great rarity is a strong beer that brings flavor and dimension. Traditionally, a stout or porter works perfectly. Try your favorite craft brewery's version, or try a widely available classic like Guinness. Don't overthink it! Just be sure to stay away from any flavored beer, or anything too light. Stick to the ale family and avoid the lagers.
  • Mustard: Few ingredients are more English than Coleman's mustard and mustard powder, so a rare recipe without it could get me banned from the country entirely. If you can't find it or are loyal to your own brand, collect it in equal quantities—I imagine the Brits are used to revolting from the other side of the pond. I would wholeheartedly endorse a strong Dijon or whole grain mustard rather than yellow or honey mustard, both of which will negatively affect the flavor.

Round it out for food

Welsh rarefied is usually enjoyed on its own, but to make it a complete meal, I recommend serving it with a salad full of crisp and crunchy ingredients to contrast the savory richness of the cheese. Celery, apples, radishes and bitter lettuces will all do. work well. Bonus points if you toss it with a mustard vinaigrette to compliment the mustard powder in the cheese mixture.

Just recipes / Ciara Kehoe


Classic British recipes.

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