February 04, 2011
Football Food: Welsh Rabbit
By David Draper
Okay, I might be stretching the wild part of this dish since Welsh Rabbit (or rarebit) doesn’t actually call for rabbit as an ingredient, but it is delicious and makes a great, easy-to-create party food—and even better hangover food.
Despite its misleadingly meaty sounding name, Welsh Rabbit is actually a simple cheese sauce made from a good aged cheddar, beer, and few other rotating ingredients. It’s typically poured over toast points, though for party purposes you can serve it with a side bowl of torn bread chunks or thick crostini. Keep warm over a low flame or in a slow cooker.
By bringing a hearty cheese dip to this weekend’s Super Bowl party you might get branded a Packers fan, but if your friends’ allegiances lie across the field, tell them your paying tribute to the Welshmen that immigrated to Pittsburgh in the mid- to late-1800s.
- I start my Welsh Rabbit with a tablespoon or two of butter melted in a saucepan, to which I add an equal amount of flour and cook briefly. (This great recipe from Saveur eliminates the flour, simplifying the preparation.)
- Whisk in a 1/2 cup of milk and about half a can of good beer, seasoning the mix with 1 tsp. of dry mustard, a few cranks on the black pepper grinder, and, to really fire it up, a healthy dose of red pepper flakes. A dash of Worcestershire also adds a bit of flavor.
- Stir in 3 to 4 cups of grated cheddar cheese. (The better the cheese, the better the end result—but I admittedly stick with the cheap stuff.) Stir continuously for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Serve over toast or with a side of bread for dipping.