Culinary SOS: Whip Tavern’s Welsh rarebit

The Whip Tavern's Welsh rarebit
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: On a recent visit to the Philadelphia area, I encountered the absolute best Welsh rarebit at a local British pub.

The Whip Tavern serves a rarebit that combines good English cheddar and Stilton cheeses with Smithwick’s Irish Ale, spiced with a bit of British mustard. Served with crostini. Stunning.

Now 3,000 miles away, I am trying to re-create this marvelous dish. Can you get us the recipe for this great comfort food, please?


WIlliam McCuskey

Los Angeles

Dear William: The Whip Tavern was happy to share its recipe for this rich, cheesy dish, browned under a broiler and served alongside plenty of crostini for dipping.

The Whip Tavern’s Welsh rarebit

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Total time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: Adapted from the Whip Tavern in Coatesville, Pa. The Whip Tavern uses Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale in this recipe.

2 tablespoons butter


3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup ale

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


1 tablespoon dry mustard

2 ounces shredded yellow cheddar cheese

3 ounces Stilton cheese

1 (8-ounce) baguette, thinly sliced on the bias and toasted


1. Make the roux: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until the flour is completely incorporated to form a thick, pale roux. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a 2-quart saucepot, bring the ale to a simmer. Whisk in the roux a little at a time until the mixture reaches the consistency of peanut butter; you may not use all of the roux. Whisk in the heavy cream, Worcestershire and dry mustard. Bring to a simmer again and fold in the cheddar and Stilton cheeses and continue cooking until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

3. Transfer the mixture to a shallow oven-proof dish or ramekins and place under the broiler until the top is lightly browned. Serve immediately with the toasted baguette slices.

Each of 6 servings: 542 calories; 12 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 42 grams fat; 26 grams saturated fat; 140 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 539 mg sodium.


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