The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

 
I find myself having trouble writing something about this grilled cheese, only because it is indescribably good, it is ridiculously good, it is crazy good! 

I grew up, like everyone, with the kleenex bread and plastic yellow cheese sandwich, which will always be a classic, but after one bite of this masterpiece, you will never want to go back. It does take a time commitment to make this sandwich, but, holy moly! Is it ever worth the effort.
 
Serves 4
 
For the pickled onions
1 red onion (sliced thinly)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 
Braised baby back ribs
 
1 lb. baby back pork ribs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onions (minced)
1 celery stalk (finely chopped)
1 leek white part only (finely sliced)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup veal stock
Water
 
8 thick slices sourdough bread
Salted butter
2 cups Friulano cheese (grated)
 
Pickled Onions
 
In a sauce pan, mix together all the ingredients except for the onions. Heat the vinegar mixture until boiling. Remove from heat and add onions, mix well. Let cool and reserve.
 
Ribs
 
In a large pot, heat oil and sear the ribs until deep brown on all sides. Remove ribs from pot and reserve.
In the same pot, saute the onion, celery and leek until soft and translucent. Deglaze the pot with the red wine and reduce by half. 
Put the ribs back into the pot accompanied by the spices, lemon, veal stock and enough water to cover the ribs. 
Cover and cook on medium for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is easily pulled from the bones.
Remove all bones and meat from the cooking liquid and set aside to cool. 
Remove Lemon half, bay leaf and thyme sprig from cooking liquid and return to heat. Reduce the cooking liquid by 2/3 or until thick and glossy.
Remove rib meat from bones making sure to remove any cartilage and bone fragments from meat. 
Return meat to reduced cooking liquid and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the meat is broken apart and most of the liquid evaporates.
 
For the sandwich
 
Preheat oven to 375
Slather one side of each piece of bread with butter. 
Lay them butter side down on your work surface and top four slices with grated friulano (just enough to cover the bread) 
Dollop a couple of tablespoons of meat onto the cheese side of the bread and spread it out evenly in a thin layer.
Top with some cooled pickled onions (as much as you want)
Sprinkle a bit more cheese on the onions and top with the other slice of bread.
Heat a pan on medium until hot, carefully drop the sandwich into the pan and sear until brown and crispy.
Slide the sandwiches into the oven and bake for 5 – 10 minutes or until hot all the way through and the cheese is bubbling out the sides.
Serve hot.