Friday, August 3, 2012

Beer Mac and Cheese

Alright, time to play catch up with my backlog of recipes that need to be posted!  This one is for Beer Mac and Cheese.  One of our favorite restaurants has an amazing beer cheese soup on the menu, and we love the Welsh Rabbit I make for Easter every year, so my mac and cheese loving brain logically made the leap between those dishes and mac and cheese.  I pretty much winged the recipe and the sauce was based on the one from Welsh Rabbit.  Got the idea for the pretzel topping from this recipe on AllRecipes.

The resulting mac and cheese was divine.  The amount of beer flavor was perfect, and it was nice and cheesy.  And the pretzel topping?  Also great!  By only broiling individual servings with the pretzels, the mac and cheese stayed nice and saucy without getting gritty, and leftovers didn't suffer from mushy topping since.  I just reheated it in the microwave, stirred in a little milk to keep it creamy, then sprinkled the individual bowls with a bit more cheddar and the pretzel topping before tossing the bowls under the broiler with the topping.  What could be better?

Beer Mac and Cheese

12 oz macaroni
3 T butter
2 T flour
1 1/4 C milk
3/4 C wheat beer (I used Pyramid Hefeweizen)
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 t dijon mustard
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t paprika
3 C grated sharp cheddar

extra grated cheddar

1/2 C roughly crushed pretzels
2 T melted butter
1/4 C parmesan cheese
1/4 t dried parsley

 Boil macaroni in a large pot of lightly salted water.  Drain, return to the pot, cover the pot so the macaroni stays warm, and set it aside. While the macaroni cooks, make the sauce.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add flour.  Whisk until golden, about 1 minute.  Add the milk, about 1/4 C at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.  When all the milk has been added, pour in the beer all at once and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Bring sauce to a simmer and cook about 2 minutes until thickened, whisking the whole time.  Remove sauce from heat (this is important!) and stir in the grated cheese until melted.  Add the sauce to the pot with the drained pasta and stir to combine.

Preheat the broiler and move the oven rack to the highest position.  To make the topping, just toss together everything but the extra grated cheddar in a small bowl.  Spoon macaroni and cheese into either individual broiler safe dishes or into 1 larger dish.  Sprinkle with a bit of cheddar, then the topping.  Place under broiler and broil until golden brown, being sure not to walk away or it could burn!  This should only take a couple of minutes.

Enjoy!  This is great with Cucumber Dill Salad.

Yield:  About 8 servings.


  1. I'm making this tonight! Since Jeremy is not a fan of hard pretzels, I'm making a batch of soft pretzels to go with the beer mac and cheese.

  2. It turned out absolutely delicious! Yummy!!!