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Playing U.K. Nachos: Welsh Rarebit Toasts with Toppings Bar


For the Rarebit Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 bottle beer, such as Guinness
  • 4 cups yellow/orange sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco or cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 12 slices whole grain, white and/or sourdough bread, sliced and toasted (I broil mine in the center of my oven on each side.)
For toppings
  • Smoky bacon, baked on a slotted pan or rack-lined baking sheet at 375°F until crisp
  • Pickled shallots or red onions (2 large shallots or 1 small red onion tossed with 1/2 cup red wine or cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and sea salt)
  • Broccolini, tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil and red pepper flakes, and roasted
  • Thick-cut (1/4-inch) slices beefsteak tomatoes with salt and pepper, grilled
  • Crispy or fresh sage leaves
  • Speck or cotto ham
  • Fried eggs with salt and pepper or hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • Watercress
  • Baby bib or gem lettuce, tossed in a lemon vinaigrette
  • Grainy Dijon mustard
  • Mango chutney, such as Patak’s
  • Smoked almonds, chopped
  • Chives, chopped
  • Radishes, shaved or cut into matchsticks and sautéed in warm butter or served raw


Serves: 6 to 8 servings


For the sauce, heat a small, cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and melt; whisk in flour then beer and reduce a minute or 2. Bring to a boil, stir in cheese and add seasonings.

Halve toasted bread corner to corner to make toast points, arrange on baking sheet/sheets, top with sauce and broil to brown cheese, serve immediately with toppings of choice.