I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Irish Rarebit

Irish Rarebit

I doubt this a traditional Irish dish at all, but when I was whipping up a pot of Irish Stew, I wanted a nice, cheese-y accompaniment.  Welsh Rarebit is the great British snack of a beer-laced cheese sauce on crusty bread, so I figured I give it a go with Guinness.  These are perfect with the stew, but also make a nice treat on their own as a snack, or a light lunch or supper beside a big salad.  And they’d be pretty good with Corned Beef and Cabbage Cooked in Beer.

Irish Rarebit

½ cup Guinness or other stout beer

2 Tablespoon butter

2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup milk

¼ teaspoon English mustard powder

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

14 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (preferably Irish), grated

8 slices crusty white bread

flaky sea salt, like Maldon

Pour the Guinness into your measuring jug and let the foam settle.  You want ½ cup minus the foam.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then whisk in the flour until you have a smooth paste and it is pale in color.  Whisk in the milk and Guinness and stir until thick, smooth and creamy.  Stir in the mustard powder and Worcestershire.  Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt completely after each addition.  When all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth, set it aside to cool down and firm up a little.

Preheat the broiler to high.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.   Slice the bread into thick slices.  Use a spoon to spread a thick layer of cheese sauce on each slice.  Sprinkle the tops with salt and place on the baking sheet.  Broil the rarebits until the cheese is bubbling and browned in spots, about 6 minutes.  Watch very carefully.

Let the rarebits sit a few minutes, then slice each piece in half and serve.

Serves 8

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