British Bites: Welsh Rarebit with Roasted Tomatoes

British Bites

Classic British dishes updated for the modern American cook.


[Photograph: Sydney Oland]



Buying tips, techniques, and recipes, no matter how you like them.

Rarebit makes a fantastic light supper or hearty snack to have at a pub after a few pints of beer. A simple mixture of sharp cheddar cheese, beer, cayenne, and mustard served hot on crisp toast can be topped with an egg, if you're in the mood for a runny yolk. A simply roasted tomato makes a great addition to this plate, cutting the fat of the cheese with concentrated acidity and sweetness after spending some time in the oven.

You can serve rarebit simply over toast, or you can take the extra step of placing your cheese-drenched toast under the broiler until the cheese begins to brown and bubble. I feel that's a necessary step if you're not putting an egg on top, but if you've gone to the trouble of producing a perfect runny yolk, then it seems silly to not let that yolk mix with the gooey, beer-flavored cheese sauce.

The type of beer used in Welsh rarebit can be a contentious subject; some prefer the bold flavor of a porter, while some like the more subtle bitterness of a brown ale. Whichever you use, make sure that it is a beer you love to drink, and serve a pint alongside your rarebit and tomatoes.