Posted on November 12, 2011
If you like macaroni and cheese, or pizza, or a BLT, you might just love this bit of comfort food I have been savoring since I was a kid. This meal is as good as, if not better than, “breakfast for dinner,” a pot of queso dip, or an oozy grilled cheese. And I love breakfast for dinner…
Apparently a bit of a fad dish for housewives in the 1960s, my grandmother made this dish, and so did my mother, and so do I. It is delicious, easy, and you eat it with a knife and a fork. They made it without beer, and with yellow sharp cheddar cheese. I make it with beer, and Cabot white cheddar. But it all harkens back to how I remember it. I assume it was Nana that added bacon, as no recipes I found call for it, and it certainly doesn’t jive with the Welsh peasant food narrative.
This recipe is from an old copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, and it has proved superior to others, even the beloved New York Times (which has no milk in it). You can use your favorite bread. Seen here are slices of a superb whole wheat loaf from Sweetish Hill bakery. Bacon is optional, but tomatoes are key. Slice them on the thick side.
This is a great mid-week dinner. Especially after a 12 hour day teaching school. (Excuse my night photos.)
adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 1969
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beer (or an additional 1/2 cup milk)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
6-8 slices bread
1 large tomato, sliced
6 slices of bacon
If including bacon, fry the bacon first, set aside on a paper towel. Slice the tomato.
Make a blonde roux in a saucepan by melting the butter and adding the flour and seasonings. Cook over low heat for about 3- 5 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk. Return to heat and bring to a boil (it will thicken by this time), stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Boil and stir one minute.
Gradually stir in the beer. Once combined, add the cheese. On low heat, continue stirring until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Turn off the heat and cover while you ready the toast.
Toast the bread. Top with bacon and tomato and drizzle sauce over it. Eat it right away while the toast is crisp and hot.