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Welsh Rarebit Recipe
My Mother's Welsh Rarebit
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).
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
Step by Step How to Make the Grilled SandwichClick thumbnail to view full-size
Welsh Rarebit or Caws Pobi is a Grilled Sandwich
- Grate the cheese
- Slowly melt butter and milk in a small saucepan
- 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)
- Slice the bread
- Lightly toast the bread in the toaster so it is palely toasted
- Butter the toast
- Pour the hot cheese mixture over the buttered toast
- Grill till nice and brown on top
- Add the mustard or Worcestershire sauce or both if you prefer
Welsh Cookery Book
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!
Everyday: Bob Dydd.
Pleased to meet you: Braf eich cyfarfod chi
Thank you very much: Diolch yn fawr
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.
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© 2012 Penelope Hart