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Welsh rabbit leeks

publication date: Nov 8, 2011
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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My adaptation of a great idea from cookery writer and top London chef Mark Hix - pouring a Welsh rarebit over cooked leeks

Serves 2-3
Time: 15-20 minutes
About £1.50 a head

6 evenly sized thin leeks - about 500g in total
5 tbsp full-bodied English ale
150g mature cheddar cheese, grated
1 level tbsp plain flour sifted with 1/2 level tsp powdered English mustard
1 large egg yolk*
1-2 tso Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp double cream
Freshly ground black pepper

Trim the leeks removing about half the green tops (save for soup) and any damaged outer leaves. Cut vertically half way down each leek, fan out the leaves and rinse under cold running water to remove any grit. Cut the leeks across in half and arrange in the basket of a steamer or in a microwaveable dish with a couple of tablespoons of water.  Steam or microwave for about 4-5 minutes until you can easily pierce the leek with the end of a sharp knife.

Pour the ale into a saucepan, add the cheese, sprinkle over the sifted flour and mustard and stir. Heat over a low heat until the cheese has melted and formed a smooth sauce. Take off the heat and beat in the egg yolk then add the Worcestershire sauce and cream. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper (you shouldn’t need salt).

Heat the grill. Arrange the leeks in a baking dish and pour over the cheese sauce. Place the dish under the grill for about 2-3 minutes until brown and bubbling. Serve with crusty bread.


To separate an egg crack it against the side of a cup, carefully pull the two halves apart and transfer the yolk from one half of the shell to the other, letting the white fall into the cup. Place the yolk in a separate cup or container.

If you can't find thin leaves buy three thicker ones and cut them in half.


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