Let's Welsh Rabbit

James Beard

Author and Educator

This recipe comes from Let, a French-trained Chinese chef at James Beard’s mother’s hotel. Beard described Let as an honorary Beard family member and a remarkable chef. Based on the bounty of Oregon’s artisanal cheeses, this dish can be served with numerous combinations. Beard adored it when this cheese sauce was served with rabbit and washed down with large amounts of beer. It also goes well served in a pastry shell with a side of rice mixed with parsley and tarragon. The dish is a perfect warm fondue dip for toast, crackers, and crusty French bread.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated or cut into small pieces
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pint beer
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Paprika


Melt butter in a small saucepan. When the butter just starts to melt add the Cheddar. Season with salt, dry mustard, Tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. As the cheese begins to melt, stir in beer and then stir in beaten egg. Do not allow it to get stringy or leathery. When the mixture is soft and creamy, serve with a sprinkle of paprika. If you keep this over low heat, you can dip pieces of French bread in it as you do with Swiss fondue.


1 fondue dip