Sunday, April 8, 2012

Welsh Rabbit

Odd as it sounds, this is the oldest holiday food tradition my husband and I have. Back in 2007 when we were dating, I thought it would be funny to make Welsh Rabbit (also known as Welsh Rarebit) for dinner on Easter since... well, you know. The idea of eating rabbit for Easter. Heh. We have a weird sense of humor! Of course it's not real rabbit, it's just cheese sauce over toast. Seeing as I'm a lifelong bunny lover, rabbit is basically the last meat I would ever be willing to try! Anyway, I've made Welsh Rabbit for dinner on Easter every year since. Several recipes have been tried and tweaked, and this one is definitely the best! It's based on this one from AllRecipes but has been thoroughly tweaked over the past couple of years. That recipe calls for bacon and tomatoes, which are good, but it's also fantastic with just the sauce: creamy, smooth, cheesy, nicely seasoned and spooned over toast. For the toast I baked a loaf of soda bread which is rather sturdy and held up wonderfully against the cheese sauce. If you've never had Welsh Rabbit, I suggest you give it a try, whether for Easter or any other time!

Quick note: The key to a silky smooth cheese sauce is to whisk in the milk a little at a time (in 1/4 C increments) and then to remove the pan from the heat before adding the cheese so it doesn't break and get gritty.

Welsh Rabbit

2 T butter
1 T flour
2/3 C milk
1/4 C beer (can use milk instead but the beer really adds to the flavor and is more authentic)
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t salt
1/4 t dried ground mustard
1/8 t black pepper
1 C grated sharp cheddar (can use pre-grated and it will be fine)

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk for a minute or two, until roux turns very lightly golden. Add milk a little at a time, whisking well after each addition so it's completely smooth before adding more. Whisk in beer. Bring sauce to a simmer and let cook, whisking constantly, for about a minute. Remove from heat and whisk in seasonings, then whisk in cheese until melted. Serve over toast.

Yield: 4 servings

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