Classic Rarebit

Many variations on the rarebit theme can be developed. Use Cheddar, apple and cider for a West Country rarebit. For a Welsh rarebit, use Caerphilly and a dash of mead or white wine, and try a Lancashire rarebit made with Lancashire cheese and ale, a Yorkshire rarebit made with Wensleydale cheese and Theakestone’s Old Peculiar, and the Hunter’s rarebit made with blue and white Stilton and a good measure of tawny port. This is an old favourite.


  • 3 tablespoons cider, wine or beer
  • 50-75 g (2-3 oz) hard cheese, diced or grated
  • 1 thick slice bread, toasted on one side, buttered on the other, and spread with a little English grain mustard


Put the liquid in a saucepan, and heat gently but do not boil.Stir in the cheese, and when melted, spoon over the bread, butter side up, which you have placed in an ovenproof dish.

Finish off under the grill or in the top of a hot oven, until the top is bubbling and golden brown. You can also make several of these, placing the toast in a large ovenproof dish.