This classic Irish rarebit is a traditional cheesy toast. It contains ingredients such as soda bread, Irish ale, strong cheddar cheese and pickled gherkins… Delicious!
I had heard of Welsh rarebit before.
But what in the world is an Irish rarebit then?
You are right, the dishes look quite the same. But there still have to be some differences in both recipes and ingredients. Just because it’s called a different name. So off I went, looking for the perfect Irish cheesy toast.
Browsing the internet and do my homework on some background information.
So it turns out that an Irish rarebit contains cheddar cheese, ale, butter and an egg yolk.
Well I can do that!
And I’m quite sure that I have practically all the necessary ingredients in my kitchen. Except for the soda bread. But it is in fact easy to make at home.
Have you ever made soda bread at home?
Easy Irish Rarebit Recipe
It is up to you to decide what extra ingredient you put underneath the grilled cheese.
I came across quite some tomatoes and grilled bacon. I even found out Jamie Oliver made a rarebit with a spicy pepper and onion jam. Nice touch there! But I’m a pickle lover so I left the tomatoes and bacon in my pantry untouched and opened a jar of pickled gherkins.
Sliced those up.
I thought the fresh and crisp vinegar flavor would contrast beautifully with the creamy and salty cheese on top. And it did! I also rubbed the freshly toasted soda bread with a tiny bit of raw garlic.
That gives it just that little extra punch. I didn’t dare to add garlic to the cheese mixture, thinking it would be too overpowering in the end.
Do you love Irish cuisine?
Then also check out another Irish classic: my colcannon!
Easy Irish Rarebit Recipe
Classic Irish rarebit, a traditional cheesy toast with Irish ale, strong cheddar cheese and pickled gherkins... Delicious!
- 2 slices soda bread
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup Irish ale (60 ml)
- 9 oz cheddar cheese (250 ml), grated
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 large pickled gherkins sliced
- 1 tsp worcester sauce
- 1 small garlic clove
Pour the Irish ale in a medium saucepan and then add the spoonful of butter and the worcester sauce.
Place this over medium-low heat and let the butter melt in the beer for 3 minutes. Stir well. Pour in the grated cheddar cheese.
Stir well and let the cheese slowly melt into the buttery beer. This will take about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir regularly. Make sure not to burn it! In the meantime toast or grill the slices of soda bread. Lightly rub the bread with the garlic (don’t exaggerate). Then slice the pickled gherkins into stick slices and place those on top of the toasted bread.
Once the cheddar cheese has fully melted and the mixture is homogenous, thickened and creamy, stir in the egg yolk.
Do this quickly so the yolk doesn’t scramble. Leave the cheese mixture on the heat for another 3 minutes. Stir regularly. Season with a dash of freshly ground black pepper and a tiny pinch of salt.
Then spread the cheddar cheese over the toast and gherkins.
Grill the rarebits under a hot grill until the cheese starts to sizzle and the cheese is golden. Remove the toasts from the grill and plate them up. Serve hot.