This sublime Irish grilled cheese sandwich begins with bacon that has been caramelized with Guinness, then spread with a paste of jam, Guinness and mustard. Add some Irish cheese and two slices of Irish soda bread and you have a grilled cheese masterpiece!
Guinness Glazed Bacon:
6 slices thick bacon
1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper
2 T brown sugar
1 T Guinness
4 slices Irish Soda Bread (with raisins)
1/2 T brown mustard
1 T apricot jam
1 T Guinness
1 c shredded Irish cheese
2 T butter
(I used a convection oven to bake my bacon. It will take longer in a regular oven. But it may not. Because I like my bacon crisp and you may not. Got that?)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with foil. Place rack on top of that. Place bacon slices on the rack.
Make a paste of the pepper, sugar and Guinness. Smear it on the bacon.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until bacon is as crisp as you want it. It will crisp up a bit after removing it from oven. Now have a swig of Guinness while you grate your cheese.
In a small bowl mix the cheese with mustard, jam and Guinness.
Get out your favorite cast iron pan. Melt 1 T of butter in the pan over medium heat. Have another swig, and remove pan from heat because your bacon probably isn’t ready.
Now take the 4 slices of bread and put 1/4 c of cheese mixture on each slice. When bacon is ready, put 2-3 slices on two slices of the bread. (If you are nice give the one extra slice to the dog and eat the other.) Now carefully place the cheese topped bread slice without the bacon, on top of the slice with the bacon and cheese. Got that?
Now get that pan hot again and place both sandwiches in skillet. Take a piece of foil and place it over the top of the bread and using your hands smush the bread towards the bottom of the pan. Not too hard, as you don’t want the cheese all over the bottom. A little won’t hurt though, because that part tastes so good!
Cook about 2-3 minutes and then add 1T of butter to pan and flip your sandwiches. Replace your foil and smush again. I always keep my pan covered as the heat retained in the skillet helps the cheese melt. Now take another swig of that Guinness. Open another. And flip that grilled cheese onto a plate.
This is the best way to start St. Paddie’s Day!
Keywords: Irish grilled cheese, toasted cheese, grilled cheese with bacon, sandwiches with bacon, best grilled cheese