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Welsh Rarebit Recipe

Updated on December 20, 2015

My Mother's Welsh Rarebit

My mother's Welsh Rarebit
My mother's Welsh Rarebit | Source

Welsh Rarebit Recipe

4.8 stars from 6 ratings of Welsh Rarebit Recipe

Caws Pobi is Welsh Rarebit

I'm from Wales. My mother is Welsh and her mother was Welsh, so we ate Welsh dishes that were very simple - I can still picture how delicious they were - when I was growing up on our farm in North Wales. My mother's Welsh Rarebit recipe was a dish she made quickly for her children when we came in from the rain - because all the ingredients were on hand in her huge warm kitchen and we were hungry. She'd have already made the best bread, loads of it. She'd have made the best butter and although there are some very good cheeses in Wales, she'd often have some home made cheese in the larder too.

Welsh Rarebit was a healthy, hot, standby meal that took her a few minutes to throw together and we could eat as many pieces as she could turn out. Oh it was so good!

It's also an easy party dish to make (and this article shows how easy!) which we often had at Christmas or birthdays - when everyone (seventeen cousins at least) came to our house to celebrate.

There are lots of recipes these days for Welsh Rarebit (known as Caws Pobi in Wales), but ours was the simplest version, made with what was available. I'm sure my mother didn't make it the same way twice, but generally the ingredients are these and the way she made it was this way, (give or take a pinch of white pepper, or more or less butter).

* a few Welsh words with English language translations below (in a blue box).

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: Two big slices
Grate the cheese
Grate the cheese | Source
Slice the bread into nice thick slices
Slice the bread into nice thick slices | Source

Ingredients for Welsh Rarebit

  • 4 thick slices bread, white or brown or spelt
  • 6 ozs (180 grams) sharp cheese, grated fine
  • 1 table spoon butter, salty (for the pan)
  • 2 fl.ozs milk
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper, white
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard or Worcester Sauce, optional!
  • 1 tablespoon butter, for the toast

Quick 'n Easy Electric Cheese Grater

Step by Step How to Make the Grilled Sandwich

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Welsh Rarebit or Caws Pobi is a Grilled Sandwich

  1. Grate the cheese
  2. Slowly melt butter and milk in a small saucepan
  3. Add the cheese, salt and pepper and heat till it's thickened and melted but not boiled. (Add the Worcester Sauce/mustard when the cheese has melted)
  4. Slice the bread
  5. Lightly toast the bread in the toaster so it is palely toasted
  6. Butter the toast
  7. Pour the hot cheese mixture over the buttered toast
  8. Grill till nice and brown on top
  9. Serve
  10. Add the mustard or Worcestershire sauce or both if you prefer

Welsh Rarebit in Wales was our Supper

Welsh Rarebit or Caws Pobi was eaten as a whole meal, usually at tea-time, or later in the afternoon, (after school, or after playing outside, sometime between 4-6) and it would be called 'Tea' or 'Supper'.

Suppers then were not the sorts of meals that they have become today. In Wales, they weren't very important, more like snacks, looking back on them. We usually ate my mother's bread and cheese and pickle, or slices left over roast meat (from the Sunday roast) with bubble and squeek (cabbage and potatoes, fried in the fat of the roast), or herrings on toast, or a cereal. Baked beans on toast was a common favorite among us seven children. During the mushroom season we had mushrooms on toast. If my Grandfather's mackerel catch was good, we had mackerel. My mothers Welsh Rarebit recipe was a standard favorite!

Welsh Words

Wales: Cymru

Everyday: Bob Dydd.

Tea. Te

Cheese: Caws

Pleased to meet you: Braf eich cyfarfod chi

Thank you very much: Diolch yn fawr

Welcome: Croeso

Good afternoon: P'nawn da

Cheers: Lechyd da

Pronunciation: (very basic!)

ch is guttural.

y is uh

dd is th

How to Prepare Welsh Rarebit as A Party Dish

Today, aside from making a tasty meal for any time of the day, or evening it also makes a fun savory good party dish! Bring a tray of Welsh Rarebit out mid evening and you'll make everyone happy. It's also very very easy!

This is how to prepare Welsh Rarebit ahead of time.

  • Prepare the cheese mixture in the pan and leave it.
  • You can reheat it when you need it during the evening, any time.
  • Make the lightly toasted toast.
  • Set it aside. It will reheat under the grill

How to Make a plate of Welsh Rarebit at the last moment.

  • Gently heat the cheese mixture a few minutes - till it's melted enough to spoon out of the pan easily
  • Butter the toast
  • Pour the cheese mixture over the toast
  • Grill till brown
  • Serve straight away

If people are enjoying their drinks, they'll be fine for a long time. Welsh Rarebit is good with wine and with beer. A dish of pickles here and there would make the presentation complete.

Welsh Cheeses


Welsh Cheddar

Y Fenni



© 2012 Penelope Hart


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    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I'm sure Welsh people use beer too, but as a quick handy dish, then we didn't. I think beer would probably make it a more sophisticated meal- and beer goes very very well with cheese, it would have more 'taste' . Maybe you could try with and without and see which you prefer! Thanks for your kind comment. Enjoy this simple meal.

    • twoseven profile image

      twoseven 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I love this dish! Your recipe looks great and I will definitely give it a try. I have seen other rarebit recipes that use beer - do you think that is a non Welsh adaptation, or would you ever use beer?

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I'm sure mace is a superb ingredient and thank you! This recipe is the basic one which can be elaborated so next time Ill grate some mace in! Thanks for your comment. Appreciated.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      I make mine with a pinch of mace powder, but I am going to try your recipe this weekend. Voted up!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      This is really simple - glad you like it. Thanks so much for your comment.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Another great recipe for me to save.

      Thank you for sharing and enjoy your weekend.


    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      It is the simplest tastiest dish, so hope you enjoy it! Thanks Susan.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've heard of Welsh Rarebit but never knew what it was until now. I have to try this as I know I'd like it. Who can go wrong with cheese :)

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Where did you live as a child? Was Welsh Rarebit popular? So nice to here that others round the globe were enjoying the same food. Thanks for your comment AliciaC

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the Welsh Rarebit recipe and for the Welsh lesson as well, GoodLady. I used to eat Welsh Rarebit when I was a child, and I always enjoyed it. Your recipe sounds delicious. I'll try it soon!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Your name is Welsh! You must have had Welsh Rarebit! Hope you enjoy this recipe and thanks.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Mmmm another great recipe for me to save into my recipe ebook .

      Have a great day.


    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Many thanks for your 'up' vote Laura. It's comfort food, yes and pleased you like it.

      It is sometimes called Welsh Rabbit! We just never called it that. Many thanks for rating my mother's recipe with 5 stars!

      Hope you enjoy Welsh Rarebit as much as we always do risadowski and thanks for dropping by to comment. Appreciated.

    • rjsadowski profile image

      rjsadowski 5 years ago

      An Awesome Hub with loads of useful infornation. I will save this recipe for future meals.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      The first time I heard a coworker talk about this dish, I thought he was saying "Welsh rabbit". LOL Well, it's nice to know it actually has nothing to do with rabbits, but cheese and bread. Diolch yn fawr for sharing this lovely recipe. Rated 5 stars. :)

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Voted up! This looks like a delicious comfort food. I love that it is a traditional Wales dish. Thanks for sharing your heritage.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Same family! Thanks for dropping by. Hope you try it, it's amazingly simple and extremely tasty too (less work than pizza because you don't have to light a pizza oven!)

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 5 years ago

      This looks good and reminds me of pizza.