Mushroom & Stilton Rarebit

January 30, 2017

Mushroom & Stilton Rarebit

Cheese on toast is known as rarebit here in Wales. Joking aside it is a little bit more involved than simply cheese on toast, and this recipe utilising two of my favourite foods will elevate your opinion of this British classic. Each of the home countries had a slightly different take on the dish as Hannah Glasse pointed out in her book The Art of Cooking (1747). Here are some variations on the theme from her book –

  • To make a Scotch rabbit, toast the bread very nicely on both sides, butter it, cut a slice of cheese about as big as the bread, toast it on both sides, and lay it on the bread.
  • To make a Welch rabbit, toast the bread on both sides, then toast the cheese on one side, lay it on the toast, and with a hot iron brown the other side. You may rub it over with mustard.
  • To make an English rabbit, toast the bread brown on both sides, lay it in a plate before the fire, pour a glass of red wine over it, and let it soak the wine up. Then cut some cheese very thin and lay it very thick over the bread, put it in a tin oven before the fire, and it will be toasted and browned presently. Serve it away hot.
  • Or do it thus. Toast the bread and soak it in the wine, set it before the fire, rub butter over the bottom of a plate, lay the cheese on, pour in two or three spoonful’s of white wine, cover it with another plate, set it over a chafing-dish of hot coals for two or three minutes, then stir it till it is done and well mixed. You may stir in a little mustard; when it is enough lay it on the bread, just brown it with a hot shovel.

I am going to utilise some alcohol with this recipe purely in the spirit of tradition you understand. It would be remiss of me to suggest you start drinking at lunchtime on a Monday, however it would be remiss of me to not point out this is great weekend lunch fayre, if you catch my thinking.

Tinkety tonk old fruit and down with the Nazis,



Serves 2

This is a slight variation of a recipe by Danny Kingston.

Mushroom and Stilton topping
40g of butter
100g of chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200g of Stilton, crumbled
1 tsp English mustard
20g of plain flour
3 tbsp of ale, or beer – I use Butty Bach (Wye Valley Brewery).
freshly ground black pepper

4 slices of white bread, thick cut
50g of Parmesan, grated

To serve
2 handfuls of rocket or spinach
Sweet Chilli Sauce – I use Parva Spices obvs


Start by pre-heating your grill to high.

Over a medium heat melt half of the butter in a frying pan. When it begins to foam add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes until they are softened and browned.

In a separate pan add the remaining butter, Stilton, mustard, flour and pepper and stir it all together over a gentle heat. This mixture will be quite dry so add the beer and stir it together to make a paste. Be careful not to overcook here as the cheese may start to separate.

Add the mushrooms to the stilton mixture and stir it all together before taking off the heat.

Toast the bread slices fully on one side and just lightly brown on the other side.

On the lesser toasted side spread the mushroom and stilton topping over, sprinkle with parmesan and put back under the grill to melt the cheese. When it begins to brown and bubble take it out.

Serve with a handful of rocket and / or spinach and a generous drizzle of sweet chilli sauce across the top.  

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