Cheese sauce with silky butter-fried leeks on crusty slices of sourdough bread and baked until golden and bubbling makes Welsh Rarebit the ultimate comfort food.
Welsh Rarebit probably has some very interesting story about where and why it originated but quite frankly, I don’t care about that. I’m just extremely thankful that someone thought it was a good idea to put oozy, gooey cheese sauce on hot, toasted bread, because they were right.
This has extra special meaning to me, because Welsh Rarebit was my mom’s version of comfort food. When I was sick, my mom would make me sweet, milky tea and toast smothered in butter and bovril. When I was sad, about boys or school or whatever the reason, she would make me Welsh Rarebit. There is just something about biting through salty, creamy sauce into a crispy piece of toast. I’m salivating just thinking about it. It’s almost like eating potato bake, you know it’s not good for your body, but man-oh-man, is it good for your soul!
Served with a mixed salad, this turns into a beautiful lunch or light supper which is just so perfect for the amazing Spring evenings we’ve been having. To make it a more substantial meal, you could add savoury mince, fried bacon or some grilled chicken ontop of the toast before topping it with the cheese sauce, but I chose to keep my Welsh Rarebit recipe simple. I just fried some leeks and garlic in butter and turned that into the cheese sauce.
Easy, delicious, comforting..what more could you ask for?
For the sauce
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 leeks finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2-3 cups milk
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup mature cheddar grated
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- In a saucepan, heat the butter and fry the leeks and garlic until soft.
- Stir in the flour until a roux is formed and slowly whisk in the milk. I only add 2 cups milk at the beginning to ensure that the sauce isn’t too thin. You want the sauce to be thick enough to not ooze off the toast completely.
- Lower the heat and allow the sauce to cook gently until the ‘floury’ taste has disappeared. Add the seasonings and the cheddar and take off the heat. Stir until the cheese has melted and adjust the seasoning.
- Heat the grill of the oven and toast the bread on both sides until nice and golden and crisp.
- Top with a few spoonfuls of the sauce and place back under the grill. Cook until golden and bubbling then remove from the oven and serve.