It is said that Charles Dickens himself enjoyed this dish at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub in London. I did a little pub crawling myself many years ago in the hedge lined countryside around Henley when my son competed there with his school rowing team. I remember thick Stilton Soup and Welsh Rarebit (sometimes called Rabbit, but that's another story). This particular version I reconstructed from one that an old friend made for me one Sunday at my house in Marin even longer ago. He was a solid Anglophile who loved tweeds and vacationing in the Bahamas. —dymnyno
English Cheddar (about 4 cups,shredded)
dry mustard, Colemans is best
stout, I used Guinness
heavy whole wheat country bread or crusty sourdough
In a double boiler over medium heat add 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese.
As the cheese is melting, add the stout, butter, worcestershire sauce and dry mustard.
Using a whisk, mix the ingredients until smooth. Then, remove from the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks slightly and temper the eggs into the hot cheese mixture.
Cut the bread into thick slices and toast under a stove broiler on both sides. I like to spread a little butter on the toast but it's not necessary
Put the toast on a plate and spoon a generous portion of cheese over the toast. Grind a little fresh pepper over the cheese, if you wish.You can also sprinkle some chopped chives for a little spark of green. And, for a great breakfast, you can top it with a soft boiled egg.
****It is important to use English mustard like Coleman's because it is stronger than domestic mustard. Because the mustard has so much more flavor than others, spices like paprika are not necessary. Use very heavy loaf bread which can stand up to the sauce. And of course, use the best quality English cheddar cheese that you can find.