The eighth in the Guest Post Series by Sue Riedl
When You Need Comfort, Call the Rarebit.
If it were up to me, melted cheese on toast would be acceptable sustenance for snacks and meals alike. In fact, forget the melting part; toast, butter and the sliced fromage will do just fine. But others (grumpy family members) don’t agree that simply swapping aged cheddar for Oka is a “whole new meal.”
So here’s my lazy solution, Welsh Rarebit, also known as Welsh Rabbit, is essentially a savory melted cheese sauce, poured over toast and then broiled and browned. (Yes, in the UK cheese sauce can be a main course.)
The name originated as a tongue-in cheek reference to a meat-less meal made from whatever was left in the pantry or one could afford. So I will lean on tradition and call this a perfect, well-rounded supper—ideal for the Sunday night “Oh God, is tomorrow Monday?” blues.
Traditionally made with cheddar, you can swap in any cheese on hand (that’s the point I believe) but I’m going to go with Lancashire (for tanginess) and some Oka (for the nutty, fruity quality) in this recipe.
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ cup Guinness beer
- ¾ cup cream (less for a thicker sauce)
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (1 cup Lancashire, ½ cup Oka in this case)
- salt (adjust to taste , some cheeses are saltier than others)
- fresh ground pepper
- 8 slices toasted sourdough or rye
- In a medium pot over low heat, melt the butter until foaming subsides. Add the flour and whisk it in until you form a smooth past (a roux). You do not want it the roux to brown at all.
- Take the roux off the burner and cool slightly (so will not splatter) when you then add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk until smooth and then back on medium-low heat add the beer.
- Now add the cream and whisk until the sauce thickens, this will take a couple minutes. You don’t want this to boil.
- Pull the sauce off the heat and slowly add the cheese. It should melt easily, (if you need to you can throw the sauce back on the heat for a minute as you stir). Set aside, keep warm.
- Season to taste.
- Turn on your broiler or preheat the oven to 500°F (260° C).
- Toast the bread until crisp (to avoid sogginess once cheese is added)
- Put the bread on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pour the sauce over each piece. Broil until browning slightly (1-2 minutes).
- Allow to cool slightly -so it can be handled- and serve to salivating dinner companions. (Don’t forget to drink the remaining beer!)
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