Gail Simmons's Welsh Rarebit with Guinness and a Fried Egg Recipe

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Gail Simmons's Welsh Rarebit with Guinness and a Fried Egg Recipe

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

In Talking with My Mouth Full, Gail Simmons claims that this is the "perfect dish to accompany a marriage proposal," which, of course, accurately lines up with her own story (which comes in chapter 13, if you want to know). Though my own experiences with Welsh rarebit aren't exactly the same as hers, I do have fond memories of this warming meal of toasted bread with a Worcestershire-spiked cheese sauce. The egg addition makes for an even more sustaining meal.

Why I Picked This Recipe: I'm not much of an eggs and toast guy, but if you add some kind of cheese sauce, I'm usually in. Honestly, I hadn't though much of this recipe until I came across it in Simmons's book. I couldn't wait to try it again. Oh, and the Guinness just sealed the deal.

What Worked: The sauce is rich and complex, and it only gets better after hanging out under the broiler.

What Didn't: I tried this once with rye bread instead of the pumpernickel the recipe calls for, and that was a mistake. Stick with the pumpernickel.

Adapted from Talking with My Mouth Full

  • Yield:serves 4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup Guinness Stout
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 slices pumpernickel, lightly toasted
  • 4 large eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • cornichons, or other pickles, for serving


  1. 1.

    Add one tablespoon of the butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat. When melted, add the flour, and stir continuously with a rubber spatula to prevent lumps. Cook until the roux is golden brown, stirring often, 3 to 4 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Add the mustard powder and cayenne, and stir well. Add the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce, and stir until combined. Reduce the heat to low, and add the grated cheese, and stir until smooth. Remove from heat.

  3. 3.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position, and preheat the broiler. Place the slices of toasted bread on a sheet tray, and top with the sauce. Place underneath the broiler and cook until the sauce is bubbly, about four minutes.

  4. 4.

    Meanwhile, add the other tablespoon of butter to a non-stick skillet set over medium heat. When the butter melts and starts to foam, reduce the heat to medium-low, and crack the eggs in. Cook until the whites are firm, but yolks are still runny.

  5. 5.

    Divide the broiled slices of bread between four plates. Top each with a fried egg. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with cornichons.