Thursday, 6 March 2014

Really Welsh Rarebit

March begins with St David's day, celebrated in olden-days England by lynching life-sized effigies of Welshmen and eating special gingerbread biscuits baked in the shape of Welshmen riding goats. My mother has always been suspicious of the Welsh, and for years our family enemy was 'The Red Dragon', a local woman with an extravagant flame-haired updo and a pronounced Welsh accent. Then we moved house and my mother zeroed in on another hapless Celtic sister. This one had OCD, though in the 1980s she was just known as 'mental' - forever polishing her glass table tops and only allowing her 2 children to bring one toy downstairs.

Lured to Wales by the promise of a very cheap holiday soon after leaving home, I was surprised and delighted by its breathtaking views, mountains, sweeping bays, waterfalls and RAF jets blasting down the valleys.

Welsh rarebit is delicious for breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner and the sneaky leek makes it even more Welsh and even more delicious. Make the topping and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days, so it's ready when you are. This is enough for 3 hungry people.

Really Welsh Rarebit

1 leek
30g butter
30g plain flour
150ml beer
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
1 egg yolk
150g cheese, grated
Chilli jam (optional)

Chop the leek and cook it in a pan with the butter for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the flour and stir well, gradually adding the beer until you have a thick sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and some black pepper, then stir well over a low heat until everything is combined and the cheese is mostly melted.

Toast bread of your choice (mine is M&S fig and hazelnut bread) on both sides then spread with a little chilli jam and a lot of cheesy mixture. Make sure it goes right up to the edge of the toast or the bread will burn. Grill until puffy and brown.


  1. You've reminded me just how delicious this is. Often have cheese on toast, but really should go that little bit further for the extra delight it brings :)

  2. Yes, you should. Make it, stick it in the fridge and have it for brunch at the weekend. Enjoy!