Welsh Rarebit

Great Britain


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lavender & Lovage: A Culinary Notebook of Memories & Recipes From Home & Abroad

Lavender & Lovage

By Karen Burns-Booth

Published 2019

  • About

I always associate a good Welsh Rarebit, or Rabbit as it should be called, with tea time and evenings, as the recipe contains ale, although not a lot, and it is more of a “slow snack” that needs to be enjoyed when time isn’t at a premium, as it may be at lunch time. The first Welsh Rabbit recipe to be seen in print was way back in 1725, although another version, for what we now know as Welsh Rarebit, was seen sixty years later in 1785. There were many “rabbit” recipes about, and the 18th century cookery writer, Hannah Glasse, offered several recipes for a rabbit, from Wales, Scotland and England. It seems that a Welsh rabbit had mustard added whilst an English rabbit had ale or red wine added, so the recipe below is both English and Welsh, as I have added mustard and ale to the mix. This is my mum and my grandmother’s family recipe, and in my opinion, it is the best.


  • 225 g vintage or mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 25 g butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon English mustard
  • 60 ml beer
  • 4 slices toasted bread


  1. Mix the grated cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce, English mustard and beer together into a paste.
  2. Divide the mixture among the toast slices, spreading it right up the edges of the crusts.
  3. Place the toast and cheese mixture under a pre-heated grill and cook until the cheese has melted, is bubbling and it is singed brown in places.
  4. Serve immediately with chutney, relish or pickles.