Speaking my Language

[By Mike]

So I haven’t had a turn at the blog for a while, and Kristy and I were trying to pick a good recipe for me to blog. We were searching for Welsh recipes a couple of weeks back and came to the recipe for Welsh Rarebit that’s featured today and I said, “Wow, that sounds like really good hangover food. I’ll blog that one.” To which Kristy replied, “You’re not going to tell some story about me being hung over, are you?” Of course not. I was planning on telling the story of my fluency in Welsh, but sadly she stole my thunder. I’ll add only one thing about her letter in Welsh–there was no way she wasn’t getting another date.

Rarebit is pretty easy to make, though it requires fairly constant attention. Begin by melting butter and whisking in flour over low heat.

Next comes a little Dijon mustard, a little Worcestershire sauce, and some salt and pepper.

After that, add 3/4 cup of beer–we used Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale, which was actually really good on its own, I felt a little bit of regret pouring it into the saucepan. Only a little, though, since soon I’d have the sauce.

One thing we’re always curious about is whether it’s OK to serve food with alcohol in the recipe to the kids. We cook with wine all the time, and make a vodka cream sauce pretty regularly as well. Here’s a not-at-all handy chart to figure out how much alcohol is left after cooking. Go to page 12 for alcohol to learn that 15 minutes of stirring and simmering leaves 40% of the alcohol. Believe it or not, according to the chart, setting it on fire leaves much more alcohol behind–75%.

After the beer, we stirred in some heavy whipping cream followed by some shredded cheddar cheese, then stirred it until it was smooth.

We poured this over four thick slices of toast made from some rosemary garlic bread, which seemed like a good match. I’d recommend anything you might dip in cheese fondue for the bread. The recipe called for four slices of toast, but there was plenty of sauce for six slices, even thick ones. It went a long way. A couple of drops of Cholula hot sauce on top, and we were ready to go.

In the end, we decided to give Mr. N and Miss A a taste, and they’re glad we did. Mr. N wanted more, and Miss A even went so far as to sop up some drips with her apple. Kristy and I liked it too. As it cools, it thickens up and the texture changes. Both ways are good, though I preferred it hot and runny. I also think it would be good to slap a fried egg over the top before putting the mixture on, but it was great without.

The final tally was 3 spoons all around. Not quite 4 spoons, though maybe all that was missing was the hangover.

Print This Recipe: Welsh Rarebit

37 thoughts on “Speaking my Language

  1. Kelly says:

    Ha-ha!! Great post chef Dad. Although I would have preferred hearing a story about Kristy being hung-over, I found lots of humour and comfort in the current recounting 🙂 “Not-at-all handy chart” hilarious! My understanding is that most alcohol is absorbed after 1 minute of boiling. Ok, I have never heard of rarebit (and have to say I was relieved to discover that it did not involved rabbit – lol), but can I tell you that this is totally my type of delicious. Funny enough, my brother and I used to dump worcestershire sauce all over our morning mince patties as kids – we just loved the smoky, spicy flavour. Add some melted cheese, hot sauce (ya!) and nut brown ale?? (oh my, how yummmy does that sound), and you’re pretty much in heaven. This is such a cool recipe!

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  2. Mary says:

    I’ve been meaning to do a welsh rarebit recipe for weeks!! Yours looks lovely – yes, great hangover food and also serious cold weather supper food. I’ve just signed up to follow – can’t believe I haven’t before!!!! – always enjoy your blog.
    Mary x

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  3. Charles says:

    When I was younger I was SO convinced that Welsh rarebit was actually Welsh “rabbit” and the idea of eating the bunnies didn’t sound at all appetising :p When I asked my mother she told me it was just “cheese on toast”, and I remember thinking that it was weird, having a special name for just cheese on toast. Never really investigated it much more, but how nice to see someone make it finally. Now I know what it *actually* is, and my my, it looks just like my sort of thing. Bet the beer gives it a wonderful flavour.

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  4. Caroline says:

    Wow, this sounds delicious Mike. Glad to see you here on the blog. There’s no doubt Miss A and Mr. N are going to be great chefs, considering how skilled you and Kristy are in the kitchen!

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  5. ChefDad says:

    I’d never heard of rarebit before. Part of the adventure, though.

    She prefers me posting to commenting on her posts, I think. Although she does give my opinion a lot of weight when she’s picking photos.

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  6. Linda says:

    I’ve heard of this dish but have never made it and I’m wondering now why not! All that soft, warm cheese, sounds like a perfect meal in front of the fire!

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  7. sallybr says:

    I’ve been somehow drawn to this rarebit thing, and recipes keep popping up – sounds delish!

    Now, of course, I was very interested in the hangover story, but I guess I’ll have to just wonder about it. My last hangover was the day after 4th of July celebrations of 2009

    never again. (knock on wood!) 😉

    and, by the way – you do a great job as a “guest blogger” – I keep telling Phil he should write another one for me, it’s been way too long since he did it

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    • ChefDad says:

      Thanks Sally, I like to do it but I’m a slow writer…Kristy’s much more efficient than I.

      Our “never again” resolutions seem to last about a year or two before we forget. I’m due…uh-oh.

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  8. frugalfeeding says:

    Why Welsh food? I’m Welsh, but it seems a little obscure considering you’re American – not that I’m complaining by the way. You should check out the recipe for Welsh cawl on my blog, you might like it!

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    • ChefDad says:

      Kristy picked it, it was her turn to pick the country. I suspect she wanted to tell our dating story and that was part of the reason.

      Cawl sounds good, I think we’ll give it a try some time. We don’t often make soup or stews but we’re starting to more often as we cook our way around the world.

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  9. Eva@ kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com says:

    Hi Mike, I’ve always wondered what that was…the sauce sounds amazing! I love the beer in it, although I was very surprised about the alcohol left in it after cooking, thanks for the info! What do they say for HO’s, hair of the dog? This recipe would surely fit into that category!

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    • ChefDad says:

      I figure by the time it’s done, it’s well under a half a percent alcohol–5% for the beer, cut down to 2% by cooking and diluted by about 5 parts other stuff to one part beer. I think the limit for beer to call itself non-alcoholic is 0.5%.

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  10. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    Wow, this Rarebit looks absolutely amazing. When you were stirring everything together, it did remind me of a cheese fondue. I am not a huge bread eater but I have to say, those thick slices do look amazing. Wonderful job Mike.

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  11. A_Boleyn says:

    Sounds like a simple recipe and tasty too. Now all I need to buy in order to make it is some beer. I still don’t know the difference among the beer types (ales, pale or otherwise, lagers, pilsners etc) so what would be best to use and why?

    I like the idea of using a fried egg on the toast since it reminds me of Eggs Benedict, which I love. 🙂 Maybe if you like sliced tomatoes (yucky) you could put that on your toasted bread before pouring on the cheese sauce. Or maybe drained tuna.

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    • ChefDad says:

      This beer was heavy and dark but not overly so. Something full-flavored and plenty hoppy would be my recommendation, it needs to be powerful enough to get through the cheese flavor. My favorite beer to drink generally is Fat Tire, and this wasn’t too far from that in flavor though it was darker in color. This is the first time we’ve made this so we haven’t experimented with different beers.

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      • A_Boleyn says:

        See that’s the kind of beer reference that totally throws me… “plenty hoppy”. 🙂

        I know hops are the flowers that are added to malted (sprouted) barley, yeast and water to ferment and make beer but don’t really have an appreciation of what that taste IS. I’m a biology/chemistry teacher and those kinds of questions fascinate me. I’m ‘special’ that way.

        Note to self: Must investigate different beer types.

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