21 March, 2018
One day, I was sitting down and having lunch at a restaurant with my Poppa, and the waitress came over to take our orders. We both ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup. Before the waitress turned and left, Poppa asked her, “do you know what we used to call these sandwiches back when I was a kid?” The waitress shook her head. “Welsh rarebit,” he said.
At the time, I didn’t quite believe him. After all, the name sounded nothing like grilled cheese… or anything even remotely relevant to cheese or sandwiches. Poppa is in his nineties, so he’s been around a while. Sure enough, though, when I found a book with antique recipes dating back to the 1910s in it, there was a recipe for welsh rarebit, and it was a recipe for melty cheese on toast. Now, it wasn’t *just* melted cheese. Oh no. Grilled cheese has really gotten lazy since the early 1900s. This grilled cheese was delicious and savory, and it puts every other grilled cheese I’ve ever had to shame.
If you’re someone who likes stringy, gooey, savory, cheesy sandwiches, this is for you. This recipe, as written, makes enough for about six sandwiches. The recipe didn’t tell me that, so I’m glad that when I made it, I halved it and we just had to suffer through consuming the rest of the cheese (or most of it anyway) on pretzel crisps.
1 lb Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp Butter, salted
1 tbsp Ketchup
1 tsp Hot horseradish (you can use prepared or plain)
1/4 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup Beer (I used an IPA… mostly because it was the last beer we happened to have in the fridge)
1 clove Garlic (I strayed from the recipe and tossed minced garlic right into the pot)
12 slices Bread, toasted
In a large bowl, toss together everything but the beer, bread, and garlic. In a medium saucepan, bring the beer and the garlic to a hard simmer/boil before pouring in the cheese. Stir everything in the pot until it’s all melted together and smooth. Pour an ample serving (maybe about 1/4 cup) over a slice of toast and top it with another to make a sandwich. Enjoy hot, tomato soup optional.