Philippa Davis wishes you 'health and wealth' this St. Patrick's Day with a delicious Irish Rarebit recipe she perfected while living on the Emerald Isle

St. Patrick’s Day is a day for celebration. Why not celebrate by trying this delicious Irish-inspired recipe and really get into the festive spirit?


I spent many happy years working as a private chef in Ireland and still get to make the occasional trip across the unforgettably choppy waters. Naively, besides ‘the black stuff’ I knew little of what food and drink the country produced. On my first day, I was sent to the local butcher and fishmonger and realised that Irish food was suffering the same fate as ours in Britain: outstanding ingredients, beautifully produced but frustratingly not nearly celebrated or championed enough. 

Today, after much hard work from passionate chefs, writers and, more recently, bloggers and influencers, I am delighted that the Irish (and British) food scene is gaining the applause it deserves. With St Patrick’s Day (17 March) one of Ireland’s most important celebrations, this is a recipe to treasure for that day.

A fun twist on Welsh rarebit, my Irish-inspired version has plenty of bold, rich flavours from the stout. 

The topping can be made and eaten straight away or you can scoop the cheese and stout mixture into a container and store, covered, in the fridge. It will last for several days and you can take a slab and spread it on your toast to grill as and when you want. 


In a pan on a medium to low heat melt the butter then add the flour. 

Gradually whisk in the stout until you have a smooth, glossy mix then add in the cheddar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.  

Continue whisking on a low heat to melt the cheese and cook out the flour, about five minutes. 

Take off the heat and stir through the spring onions. 

This mix can now be spread on toast and grilled under a medium heat until golden or scooped into a container and stored in the fridge until it is required. 


Makes 8 generous slices

50g butter 

50g plain flour 

250ml stout 

240g strong cheddar 

2 tsp heaped wholegrain mustard 

A generous splash of Worcestershire sauce 

3 spring onions, finely sliced

8 sturdy slices of sourdough or granary bread