Welsh Recipe - Welsh Rabbit (Welsh Rarebit)
Welsh Rabbit, Welsh Rarebit or Caws pobi
Welsh Rabbit (often erroneously called Welsh Rarebit) is a traditional savoury dish created by serving a sauce of melted cheese (usually cheddar) and other ingredients over hot toast.
The term "Welsh Rarebit" is often used in place of "Welsh Rabbit" by some in an attempt to emphasise the fact that it does not, in fact, contain any Rabbit. They are missing the intentional humour in the name - of course there is no rabbit in Welsh Rarebit, just as there is no Turtle in "Mock Turtle soup", no Ducks in "Bombay Duck" (which is actually a fish), and no Toads in "Toad in the Hole" (sausages).
The name "Welsh Rabbit" is an ironic name from the days when Wales was very poor. Only the well off could afford Butchers Meat. In England of course, when the poor wanted meat, they would catch a rabbit or two. In Wales, oppressive landlords would not allow such forraging by the peasants and so a poor Welshman's substitute for rabbit was cheese.
In his Fyrst Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge (1542), Andrew Boorde wrote "I am a Welshman, I do love cause boby, good roasted cheese." "cause boby" is an attempt to write in English the Welsh caws pobi, meaning "baked cheese". This is the earliest known reference to cooked cheese being eaten in the British Isles.
The first known example of the term Welsh rarebit was recorded in 1785 by Francis Grose. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, 'Welsh rarebit' is an "etymologizing alteration. There is no evidence of the independent use of rarebit".
Whatever you chose to call it, there is no doubt that Welsh Rabbit - or even Welsh Rarebit - is one of the tastiest savoury snacks - And so quick and easy to make - Here's how.
Welsh Rabbit/Welsh Rarebit - The Recipe
Ingredients for Welsh Rabbit/Welsh Rarebit:
- Bread (White or Brown) 2 Large Slices
- Cheddar Cheese (Mature) 4oz / 110g
- Onion (finely chopped) 1 Heaped Teaspoon
- Beer (not Lager type) 4 Tablespoons
- English Mustard 1/2 teaspoon
- Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 teaspoon
- Fresh Sage (chopped) 1 Teaspoon
- Cayenne Pepper Sprinkling
Welsh Rabbit/Welsh Rarebit is quick and easy to make. Grate the Cheddar Cheese and mix together with the finely chopped onion using a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients - except the bread and pepper - and continue to mix well with a fork.
Toast the bread under a medium grill - This is a better method than using a toaster as it will allow you to control the browning and prevent any burning.
Take the mixed ingedients and divide into two, spreading each half on a slice of the toasted bread. Be sure to cover the bread right up to it's edges - this will prevent the toast burning when it is placed back under the grill.
Sprinkle with the Cayenne pepper before placing the slices under a medium grill. Cook until the cheese begins to bubble and develop a nice golden brown colour.
Your Welsh Rabbit/Welsh Rarebit is done! - Serve hot immediately with a salad garnish if desired - Enjoy!
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