Who doesn’t love grilled cheese? Chef Eric Greenspan took the stinky cheese, raisin-walnut bread, dried fruit and other accoutrements from a classic cheese plate and made a grilled cheese out of them, then added short rib scraps for a more robust experience. It was a hit!

Chef Eric Greenspan’s “The Champ” Signature Grilled Cheese


12 ounces (340 grams) Taleggio cheese, rind removed
8 slices dark raisin walnut bread

8 ounces (225 grams) boneless beef short ribs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup (240 millilitres) beef stock

15 dried apricots
1 tablespoon nonpareil capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

20 dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes
4 small handfuls arugula
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, for finishing


1. To make the short ribs, cut the meat into 4 equal chunks and season with salt. In a pressure cooker, combine the meat and stock, lock the lid in place, bring to full pressure, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until fork-tender. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, combine the seasoned meat and stock in a small, heavy saucepan on the stove top, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for about 3 ½ hours, until fork-tender. Transfer the meat to a plate, shred with 2 forks, then return the meat to the cooking liquid to keep it moist.

2. To make the spread, in a small saucepan, combine the apricots with water just to cover, bring to a boil over high heat, and boil for just a few minutes, until fully rehydrated and tender. Drain well and let cool. In a blender, combine the rehydrated apricots, capers, mustard and oil, and process until smooth.

3. In a small saucepan, combine the sun-dried tomatoes with water just to cover, bring to a boil over high heat, and boil for just a few minutes, until rehydrated and tender. Drain well.

4. Line up half of the bread slices on a work surface. On each slice, spread 1 tablespoon of the apricot spread, then top with a handful of arugula. Cut the Taleggio into 4 equal portions and gently shape each portion into a patty. Add one cheese patty and 1/4 of the tomatoes and beef to each slice of bread. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.

5. Line a large platter with paper towels. In a skillet over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Turn down the heat to low, add 1 sandwich, and cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisp on both sides and the cheese is melted. Transfer to the prepared platter to blot the excess grease. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches.

6. Cut the sandwiches in half, plate and serve.

Reprinted with permission from Great Grilled Cheese: Grown-Up Recipes for a Childhood Classic by Eric Greenspan, copyright © 2018.

Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
[Photography credit: Colin Price © 2018]

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