William Randolph Hearst's Welsh Rarebit Recipe | PBS Food

William Randolph Hearst’s Welsh Rarebit

Welsh Rarebit is actually a simple bread and cheese dish. Tori Avey of The History Kitchen blog explains Hearst's personal affinity for this recipe in a full post here.


Cook time: 5 Minutes

Yield: 6 servings



  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lb (about 4 cups) grated cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup beer that has been open for at least 30 minutes, room temperature
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Toast or crackers


  1. In a chafing dish or large double boiler placed over simmering water, melt the butter. Add the grated cheese and stir until it begins to melt. Slowly add the beer, stirring. I used Sierra Nevada beer as a nod to George Hearst's gold and silver mining past, but you can use any beer you like.
  2. Whisk in the seasonings. Beat an egg in a small bowl, then very slowly drizzle the egg into the hot cheese, beating constantly with a whisk to temper the egg and keep it from scrambling. When egg is fully incorporated, continue to stir till the mixture is smooth and heated through.
  3. Serve cheese sauce immediately over crackers or toast. I used sourdough toast in honor of Hearst's San Francisco roots (crusty French bread would be lovely, too). I also garnished the dish with some fresh chives. The garnish is not in the original Hearst recipe, but it adds a nice flavor and a pretty finish to the dish.