Classic Irish Guinness Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit
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  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Rarebit (or Rabbit as sometimes called) is considered a Welsh dish, hence the name Welsh Rarebit. This recipe, however, is in fact, Irish. Confused? No need to be, as a rarebit is nothing more than cheese on toast so can legitimately come from anywhere.

This delicious morsel can claim Irish heritage because not only is there cheese and toast; there is the addition of Guinness, the fantastic, famous dark ale brewed in Dublin. Ireland. Guinness is also often referred to as a pint of the 'Black Stuff' and is a descendant of an 18th-century English porter style ale, though today Guinness is one of the most famous drink brands in the world.

So a fabulous drink it may be, Guinness is also a great addition to many recipes and brings a strong flavor so stands up well to a strong cheese plus the Worcestershire sauce, both robust flavors in their own right. 

The Irish Rarebit can be served as a snack, makes a delightful lunch with a salad, even an easy supper dish. 


  • 2 oz./110 g cheddar (mature)
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard (English)
  • 1/2 egg (the yolk)
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Guinness
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grate the mature Cheddar into a large bowl. Add to this the mustard, the egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, Guinness, and the salt and pepper. 

  3. Cut four thick slices of sourdough, or the baguette then grill the slices of bread on one side.

  4. Sprinkle the cheese mixture between each of the toasts on the un-toasted side.

  5. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cheese is melting. Serve immediately with a green salad

  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • There are few alternatives to this recipe as there are not many ingredients which can be changed. One quickly changed is the cheese. As Guinness is a dominant flavor in this recipe the cheese chosen must be equally robust. Any strong, robust cheese will stand up to it. Consider using Farmhouse cheeses which tend to be artisan and have strong flavors.
  • Do not use creamy cheeses, they melt too quickly and can also burn easily. The flavors in blue cheeses do not work well with the other ingredients. 
  • Switch out the mustard to a whole grain version. The seeds add extra texture to the rarebit. 
  • The favorite bread of choice here has to be a good sourdough. Not only does the flavor marry well, the bread but also tends to be heavier and has a delightfully chewy texture. Rye bread also works well, as does any stoneground bread.