Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1943 Joy of Cooking: Potato Volcano with Welsh Rarebit

Ok, so I am sticking to one of my 2011 food goals and cooking from my vintage 1943 edition Joy of Cooking cookbook.

I found this recipe while looking through the Vegetables section (another one of my 2011 food goals, cook/eat more veggies) and it just had FUN written all over it (it included the word volcano, plus it includes beer as one of the ingredients).

So let's get to exploring Potato Volcanos with Welsh Rarebit (otherwise known as cheesy potatoes with beer!)...

What exactly is a rarebit you ask?

 I was intrigued because I had never heard of Welsh Rarebit before. (maybe I have been under a rock for a while, who knows! I have been snowed in for a while though!)

Anyways, according to various sources such as wikipedia it is basically a cheese sauce, noting that traditional European fondue is based on swiss cheese and a rarebit is based on cheddar.

There is also a great number of other tidbits of info with variation, which I love the names of such as a "Blushing bunny" which is a rarebit or rabbit with tomato soup added!

It also notes that 18th century cookbooks describe the Welsh rarebit or cheese as the poor man's meat. And it is considered a "lucsious supper or tavern dish".

I am always up for a tavern dish!

So, let's get going...

Potato Volcano with Welsh Rarebit
adapted from 1943 edition of Joy of Cooking
printer friendly

6 servings

The main players for Welsh Rarebit

For Mashed Potatoes
6 medium sized potatoes
4 T. butter
½ tsp. salt
⅓ C. evaporated milk
For Welsh Rarebit
1 lb. shredded cheddar cheese
1 T. butter
1 C. beer
1 whole egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
½  tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. mustard

~ 1 C. bread crumbs, herbed pepperidge farms

Prepare mashed potatoes: Boil potatoes and mash. Add butter, salt, and warm or hot milk to them. This should make ~ 3 C.

Shape them into a mound in an oven proof plate or casserole dish. Make a hollow in the top of the mound a large as a cup. *note I put mine in a round dish a filled the dish, hollowing out a hole in the middle, but a volcano would be fun!

For the Welsh Rarebit:  Melt butter, stir in beer. When beer is warm stir in cheese.

My fridge was stocked at the moment with Bud Light Lime, so that was my beer for the rarebit!
Stir constantly until cheese is melted.

Beat egg and add to mixture, along with worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika, and mustard.

Isn't that just lovely!
Then pour into hollowed out hole in mashed potatoes.

Cover outside of mashed potatoes with reserved melted butter and pat bread crumbs to coat.

Brown in oven at 380 degrees F.

*Can also shape potatoes into individual mounds.

Then Enjoy!!

*Sprinkles of Tips:

You really have to be careful cooking/stirring the cheese so that it does not get too hot and curdle/lump.

Also, don't get carried away with the beer, I accidently just poured the entire bottle in, which is fine, but my sauce was way to runny, but I just tried to put in the thick, creamy cheese mixture and left out the extra runny stuff!

While I did not make this in a volcano style this time, I think I will next time. And the flavor from the cheese sauce is amazing. As I was putting it together (as I made my main dish) I was thinking, really, REALLY?!!! ...
This is just cheesey potatoes, but this is NOT, JUST cheesey potatoes, it is potatoes and cheese, amped up a notch or two.

So, give it a try, have some fun in the kitchen cooking with beer and cheese! Who knows, you may want to just skip the potatoes and have the beer cheese!

Update on Feb 14: I am linking up to

Until next time,
Happy Cooking with Cheese and Beer!


  1. I love welsh rarebit, never thought of mixing it with mashed, that sounds like an incredible combination of flavors! just delicious!

  2. Chef Dennis: I would love to know what else you put rarebit on/with! It is delicious though, I could almost eat it by itself. Is that bad?!

  3. OH MY GOSH. Can I have this dish sitting in front of me right now? With a fork?

  4. Jenna laughs: Glad you liked it!! You will have to make some! They are delish! Thanks for visiting!

  5. HOW FUN cooking from an old cook book! Thanks for linking to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!

  6. This is got comfort food all over it! Yum!

  7. Serve over toasted English muffins