We tapped our chef friends Justin Brunson of River Bear Meats and David Cook of Gather Food Studio to develop 4-star grilled cheese sandwiches you can make in your own kitchen. Get creative and see how easy it is to elevate this humble, homey favorite.

Sandwich #1

Wagyu Like A Bite?

wagyu bresaola + sage cheddar + pickled onions + arugula Ingredients:
  • Ciabatta bread or a french baguette
  • 3 tbsp room temperature butter
  • Sawatch Sage Cheddar, sliced with enough to cover your bread
  • 4-6 thin slices River Bear Wagyu Beef Bresaola with rosemary, thyme and black pepper notes
  • Arugula and pickled onions (add and assemble after grilling)
Sandwich #2

The River Bear Jam Sesh

cotto + cheddar + jam Ingredients:
  • 2 slices grilled sourdough bread
  • 3 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 4 slices Sawatch Grass Fed Cheddar
  • Sliced River Bear Cotto, with heavy fennel, chili and black pepper notes
  • Primo Jam – raspberry or blueberry jalapeno
Sandwich #3

St. Patty’s Perfect Bite

corned beef + white cheddar + coleslaw Ingredients:
  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 3 tbsp room temperature butter
  • Sawatch White Cheddar, sliced and layered to cover your bread
  • 2-3 slices River Bear Corned Beef
  • Coleslaw
Sandwich #4

The Country Picnic Special

country ham + aged gouda + heirloom tomatoes + duke’s mayo Ingredients:
  • 2 slices basic white bread like Bimbo or Sunbeam
  • 3 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 4 slices Sawatch 24 Month Aged Gouda
  • River Bear Smoked Country Ham, sliced and layered over the cheese
  • Garden fresh tomatoes with salt and pepper
  • Duke’s Mayo

Master Instructions for Making the Perfect Grilled Cheese

  1. Preheat your oven to 400f.
  2. Prepare your grilled cheese fillers and have them ready for assembly.
  3. Preheat a heavy oven-safe skillet (we prefer the sturdy cast iron) on medium heat, add a pat of butter in the pan.
  4. Generously butter one side of each slice of bread.
  5. Place the bread butter-side-down into the skillet and pile the cheese on top of the bread slice.
  6. Top with the accompanying ingredients and place your second slice of bread butter side facing up on top of the sandwich.
  7. Let the sandwich brown on one side for about 2 minutes while the butter gently bubbles around the bread.
  8. Flip the sandwich carefully, turn off the heat, and move the pan into the oven for about 3 minutes.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and add cold fillers (greens, tomatoes, coleslaw).
  10. Transfer your perfect grilled cheese to a plate for serving.
Bonus sandwich #5

Gather Food Studio’s Turkey Panini with Tomato Miso Jam

  • ½ lb sliced turkey (this is a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey)
  • 4 oz.sliced Sawatch Fenugreek Gouda
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 10-12 thin cucumber slices
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced
Tomato Miso Jam
  • 1.6 oz. fresh, whole cranberries
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • ¼ C. water
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • ½ orange, zested
  • 2 T. (3 T. if you want a more intense flavor) miso
  1. Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, salt, vinegar, orange zest, and miso in a large pan. Turn heat to med and let the cranberry mix come to a gentle simmer. Reduce heat to medium how and let continue to reduce until thick. Take off heat and let cool. Check seasoning.
  2. To build the panini – sliced the bread (4 pieces) as thick as desired. Place as much tomato jam as desired on the bread. Add as much cheese as desired to the bottom 2 pieces of bread. Divide the turkey between the bottom 2 of the pieces of bread. Top the turkey with the avocado and the cucumber slices. Add a little bit more cheese as desired. Top with the remaining bread and spray well with pan spray on both sides.
  3. Grill in a panini maker on medium high until the panini and crispy and grilled.