Forget the cellophane-wrapped yellow squares, this grilled cheese uses mac n' cheese for its gooey filling. Not to mention it's topped with a bacon, beer and tomato jam, adding the perfect amount of slaty sweetness to this delicious sandwich.
- 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup half and half or milk
- 6 oz beer
- Smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, and nutmeg, optional
- 2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb smoked bacon
- 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 cup yellow sweet onion, finely diced
- 12 oz beer
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 baguette
- Butter, for frying the grilled cheese
- 10 slices white cheddar cheese, broken in half
- Make the Jam
In a large pan with high walls, cook the bacon, working in batches to avoid overlap. Once all of the bacon has been cooked, allow it to cool and then roughly chop.
- Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon’s worth of drippings from the pan. Heat the pan again and add in the onions. Cook the onions until they have become translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook for a minute.
- Pour in the brown ale and apple cider vinegar and deglaze your pan using a wooden spoon.
- Add the brown sugar, chopped bacon, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir well.
- Place the lid over the pan, cracked so that the steam can vent slightly, and allow the mixture to boil for a minute. Then, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until much of the liquid has evaporated and you are left with a thick, chunky jam, about 1 hour.
- Make the Mac n’ Cheese
Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the box.
- Heat a pot over medium-high and add the butter.
- When the butter melts entirely, whisk in the flour to create a roux. Cook until it begins to bubble and turns a gold-ish color.
- Slowly add the milk and beer while whisking the mixture. Then, add the cheeses a little bit at a time, and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth.
- Turn the heat down to medium and keep stirring for another 5 minutes or so as the mixture thickens up.
- Add the salt and pepper. You may also choose to add a bit of chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika and/or nutmeg, depending on how you like your macaroni and cheese. I add a pinch of each.
- Mix in the cooked macaroni.
- Assemble the Sliders
Slice your baguette to your desired thickness. Butter one side of each slice.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat.
- Place a piece of cheese on the unbuttered side of one slice of bread, and scoop a generous amount of mac n’ cheese on top of the cheese. Place, buttered-side down, into the hot pan. Do this with 3-4 pieces at a time. Place another piece of cheese on top of the mac n’ cheese.
- Top each with another slice of bread that has been spread on the unbuttered side with bacon, beer and tomato jam.
- Fry until slightly browned and the cheese binding the sandwich has begun to melt. Then carefully flip each slider over to fry the other side. Serve warm.