Bacon, leek and crab cawl with caerphilly rarebit

Celebrate Wales' rich culinary heritage with Allegra McEvedy's simple but stylish combination of two classic Welsh dishes
By Allegra McEvedy
Bacon, leek and crab cawl with caerphilly rarebit
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 200 g bacon, ideally Welsh, chopped
  • 60 g unsalted butter
  • 0.5 heads celeriac
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 1 pinches ground mace
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 2 slices brown bread, thickly sliced, preferably wholemeal
  • 80 g caerphilly cheese, roughly grated
  • 60 ml dark ale, ideally Welsh
  • 0.5 tsp mustard, strong flavoured
  • pinches cayenne pepper
  • 600 ml fish stock
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 200 g fresh crab meat
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped


1. Place the bacon, butter and celeriac in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. 2. Slice the leek in half lengthways, keeping it together by the root end. Slice in half again, keeping it together at the root end. 3. Starting at the green end, chop the leek all the way along into thin shreds, discarding the root afterward. 4. Wash the chopped leek well and add to the pan, along with the thyme, mace, salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir well to coat evenly, cover and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes, stirring now and then. 5. Toast the bread on both sides and reserve, keeping warm.6. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together the Caerphilly, ale, mustard, cayenne and season with salt and freshly ground pepper (more pepper than salt). Spread the Caerphilly mixture evenly over the toasted bread and grill for 4 minutes. 7. Meanwhile, increase the heat of the leek mixture and pour in the fish stock and cream. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the crabmeat and parsley. 8 Take off the heat immediately and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Add a splash of water or cream if it is not the consistency of a stew. 9. Once the rarebit is golden brown on top, slice each serving in half and serve it at once with the bacon, leek and crab cawl.

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