There is no actual rabbit in this dish. The name is properly Rarebit, but most people hear that as rabbit, so that’s become the common name for it. There is, though, a lot of cheese in it, and that’s why I made it. My dear First Reader loves cheese, and on a shopping trip not too long ago, both of us grabbed cheese that was on sale and it wasn’t until we were home that we discovered the duplication. Never too much cheese, he told me, gloating over his varied hoard. It will go bad, I said. So make something with it, he suggested, shifting cheeses in the drawer so they would all fit.
Somewhat later, and a loaf of homemade bread made the day before, I made this with some of it. Like so many of my recipes, it’s easy to joggle it around a little, subbing in different flavors to make this dish different every time you serve it. Lighter beer, darker beer, vary the cheeses, use several cheese-ends up. It’s all good.
- 2-3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tsp mustard (I like the hearty kinds with seeds in)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 bottle (about 6 oz) beer (I prefer a dark beer)
- 3/4 c half and half (or cream)
- 8 oz (about 2 c shredded) cheese
- Hot sauce to taste
Don’t expect your rabbit to be yellowy-orange, unless you use all cheddar. Ours was beige, between the Dunkel beer and the Gruyere and Monterrey Jack cheeses. It might not look like much, but there is a lot of flavor in this! We had ours with homemade bread, lightly toasted, and roasted cauliflower.
Roasted cauliflower is very easy to make, and so rewarding. Even if you think you don’t like cauliflower, you should try this. Simply cut a head of cauliflower into roughly bite-sized florets (you do know cauliflower is a giant flower-bud?) and place in a baking dish, not too crowded (I use a 9×13″ pan for one head) and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar (balsamic works nicely, but so does red wine vinegar and rice wine, it’s all about what you want). Toss to coat the florets and put into a 400 deg F oven for twenty minutes. Toss again and put back in the oven for another twenty minutes. Test with a fork, if they are tender then they are done, or given them another ten minutes. I will sometimes throw in a sprig or two of thyme.