All of these goodies that I’ve been baking lately have been quite feminine; sweet and darling. That’s not to say that a dude wouldn’t eat these things. (I know for a fact that there is one guy in particular who is very disappointed that he’s not here to enjoy them.) It is to say that there is always a need for balance. I needed to make something macho and manly. Rub some dirt in it, all that jazz.
On average, it requires about a five minute conversation with me to realize that I’ve got a thing for cheese. I’m pretty vocal about it. On my first date with Brian, I asked if we could order the cheese plate appetizer, and then proceeded to talk about cheese for the next 20 to 30 minutes. A few weeks later, because he is the gift-giver to end all gift-givers, he gave me THREE cheese journals to document the various cheeses that I try, so naturally, I’m required to always buy all the cheeses, right? Right! My most recent purchase was an Italian cheese called L’ottavio, otherwise known as beer cheese. I repeat: beer cheese.
L’ottavio cheese contains flecks of malted barley. During the curing process, the rind is brushed with brown ale and more malted barley. The result is the smell of a local pub and the taste of a nice pint of beer. Let me emphasize that "smell of a local pub" isn't a very pleasant smell. You're going to want to triple or quadruple bag this block of cheese to contain the smell in your fridge.
In my cheese-journal, I noted that this cheese is kind of “unpairable." I usually like to pair a nice fruit or jelly or meat with the cheeses that I try, but this one really seemed to want to stand alone. But then, "ah HA!" This is a manly cheese here. It needs manly compliments, not fru-fru things like fruits and French jams.
It needs manly compliments like BACON.
What followed is the macho-est, manliest grilled cheese you’ll ever eat.
Behold, the Beer & Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich. (Note: I did not rub dirt in it.)
The Beer and Bacon Grilled Cheese Sandwich
2 slices of your bread of choice, I used Buckwheat
Sliced L'ottavio cheese 1/4" thick to cover one slice of bread
3 to 6 slices of natural bacon, depending on bread size
- Heat deep cast iron skillet to medium heat, then turn to low. Throw on your bacon and cook it low and slow, constantly moving around so it doesn't stick. (It's best to use a grease shield if you have one. I don't...womp womp.)
- While your bacon cooks, cut necessary slices of cheese and spread butter on the two outer sides of your bread slices.
- Once bacon is cooked, remove to a paper towel. Drain all but one teaspoon of the grease. The remaining grease will make your bread crispier, and will give your sandwich more taste.
- Set a slice of bread butter-side down. Top with your cheese and cooked bacon, and top with your other slice of bread, butter side up.
- Once the cheese begins to melt, flip your sandwich so it begins to melt through the bacon.
- Continue flipping until both sides are crispy and golden.
- Slice into halves and enjoy!
Thanks for reading!