Welsh Rarebit, circa 1930
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- 2 tbsp. softened butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tsp. dry mustard
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 cups grated american or cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 tsp. chopped brined hot peppers, optional
1Melt butter in heavy 2 quart pan over low heat. Whisk flour into butter to combine. Turn heat to medium and cook mixture for 1 minute, stirring with wooden spoon to make a roux. add milk and cook, stirring constantly til sauce begins to thicken and small bubbles form around edges, 4 to 6 minutes. Don’t overcook.
2Add mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cheese and stir briskly. Cook over low heat til cheese is completely melted. Remove from heat.
Whisk about 1/4 cup of the sauce into beaten eggs to temper them. Return egg mixture to rarebit and whisk to combine. Set pan over low heat and continue cooking, whisking constantly, til eggs are cooked and rarebit is heated through, about 2 minutes. Don’t boil. Add peppers if desired. Serve Welsh Rarebit on toast or Pilot crackers, a crunchy “down east” favorite in New England.
Note: you can substitute 1 tsp. of prepared mustard for the dry mustard. Adjust seasonings to taste.