Bubbling Rabbit

I’ve been looking through my old Constance Spry cookery book and came across a subsection about Welsh Rabbit – which is what Constance calls ‘the English version of a fondue’ but for lots of us its fancy cheese on toast. She has the basic recipe, then  Buck Rabbit, Quick Rabbit, Swiss Rabbit and Golden Buck. I have sometimes seen it written as rarebit, but if Constance says rabbit and Hannah Glasse before her, then surely rabbit it is.

This is what Constance says: Welsh rabbit is the English version of a fondue. The cheese used should be a dry ‘flavoury’ cheese. Ale replaces the kirsch, otherwise rabbit is made in the same way as fondue. Ideally it should be made on the table in a chafing-dish, hot toast and hot plates being provided and the rabbit poured bubbling on to them.

Her basic recipe is dry well-matured cheddar cheese, butter, brown ale, salt, pepper and cayenne, gently melted together and poured over toast. To make a Buck Rabbit slide a poached egg on top – I don’t really fancy that, melted cheese and egg? Not for me, thank you Constance. Quick Rabbit is made with boiling milk, the mixture poured onto toast which is then put under the grip to brown. Another variation is to spread anchovy paste on the toast first before pouring on the cheese – but again, I’m not sure I fancy that, cheese and fish? Not really, thank you

Swiss Rabbit

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp single cream
  • 1 oz butter
  • 3 oz grated gruyère cheese
  • nutmeg. salt. pepper
  • hot buttered toast
  1. mix together egg, breadcrumbs and cream
  2. melt the butter in a pan and add all the ingredients
  3. stir over a gentle heat until hot and creamy
  4. pour over toast which has been arranged on a serving dish
  5. serve at once

To make Golden Buck, take a pan over a low heat and add 1 oz butter, 4 oz cheddar cheese, ½gill brown ale, celery salt, paprika, ground black pepper; when the cheese has melted and everything is mixed add 2 beaten eggs, 1 tbsp cream, 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Stir the mixture until smooth and creamy and pour over the usual hot buttered toast.



    1. Lois

      Greetings dear Fab Four! We tried to make fondue once but I’m not sure we did it correctly, because although it tasted very nice it was very very runny so maybe we didn’t have the quantities quite right! We enjoyed it all the same! My mother-in-law used to make something called cheese fluff, which was very light and fluffy and delicious, poured over toast and eaten with a knife and fork… I think it was something she created when there wasn’t much in the cupboard! She gave me the recipe but it never tasted quite as lovely as hers, and was always stiff and sticky instead of light and fluffy!
      After terrible storms and a great deal of rain, we have a lovely day and my washing is flapping on the clothes line!
      Love to you all xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Klausbernd

        Dear Lois,
        oh dear, we have to admit we buy a Swiss ready made pack at our delicatessen here. But when we lived in Switzerland we went to the cheese counter and asked for a strong, medium or mild flavoured mixture of cheese for fondue for four. It was cut then from three to four different cheeses, then you need a dry white wine and a little bit of cherry schnapps. You heat this all on your rechaud and eat it with bits of white breat dipping it in the pot. It’s important not have it too hot because it gets too runny then.
        But we have to admit these ready made Swiss fondue mixtures are quite tasty and dead easy to prepare.
        We had quite a wind here too and it was cold and dark, but now the sun is shining and we’ll soon do some gardening. We just do the last editing of our new blog post.
        With love from us to you
        The Fab Four of Cley
        🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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