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Playing Welsh Rarebit-Style Mac 'n' Cheese


  • Salt
  • 1 pound short cut pasta, such as cavatapi (hollow corkscrew shaped pasta) or penne or short-cut whole wheat or whole grain pasta
  • 4 slices good quality white bread or pumpernickel bread
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Colemans or other dry mustard, a couple of palmfuls
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup porter beer
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
  • Black pepper


Serves: 4-6




Preheat oven to 350F.



Bring pasta water to a boil and salt water. Cook past 5-6 minutes to just shy of al dente.



While water comes to a boil, place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and arrange sliced bread. Toast bread in oven then coarsely chop and add to food processor, process into coarse bread crumbs.



Melt butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Pour half the butter over crumbs to moisten them and combine crumbs with parsley. To remaining butter, add garlic and gently cook 2 to 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add hot sauce and mustard and stir to combine then sprinkle in flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and beer; cook beer out 30 seconds then add stock and bring to bubble. Thicken a minute more. Stir in 2 cups of cheese in figure-8 motion and season with salt and pepper to taste.



Toss pasta with Rarebit sauce and spoon into "cricks" or a casserole dish. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining sprinkle of cheese, then place on middle rack of oven and broil 2-3 minutes until bubbly and deeply brown on top.