Gooey mac and cheese with crumbled bacon is about as decadent as it gets … before you add beer, that is.
Wisconsin native Dax Phillips takes a comfort food classic to the next level by combining two of his state's best known exports — beer and cheese — into one amazing dish. "This recipe infuses beer throughout the entire mac and cheese process," writes Dax on Simple Comfort Food, his extensive recipe blog. "I first cook the pasta in beer, then while making the roux for the sauce, I begin slowly adding in [more] beer," he explains.
The resulting dish is nothing short of amazing, and it's sure to satisfy anyone's comfort food (or beer) cravings.
Beer Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 24 ounces beer of your choice (Dax prefers New Glarus Spotted Cow)
- 5 cups water
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (Dax prefers Nueske’s)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup half and half, or 2 percent milk
- 6 ounces IPA, or your favorite beer
- Cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt (for pasta water)
- Bring 24 ounces of beer and water to a boil. Season with salt. Add the pasta and cook until almost al dente, but not quite. Drain.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp, then set aside. Crumble the bacon when cool..
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Bring a large pan to medium heat, then melt the butter until it bubbles. Add the flour and stir, using a wooden spoon, until it reaches a golden color.
- Slowly add the half and half to the pan. Continue stirring until all of the lumps are out. Add six ounces of beer and continue stirring until smooth.
- Stir in black pepper and mustard powder. Next, add the cheeses a little at a time, and continue stirring until creamy.
- Add the cooked pasta and crumbled bacon to the pan. Stir to combine with the cheese sauce.
- If using a cast iron pan, place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. If not, grease a casserole dish with cooking spray or butter. Transfer the contents of the pan to the dish, then place in the oven for 30 minutes. (Both cooking vessels should remain uncovered.)
- Remove from oven. Portion onto serving plates and enjoy.