Cheddar Ale Mac n’ Cheese: A creamy, grown up twist to classic mac n’ cheese using cheddar, ale and a sourdough pretzel buttery crumb topping.
A few weeks ago I stopped in my local gourmet wine and food store and purchased a few different cheeses; one of which being a Cheddar Ale cheese. The cheese had a nice mild flavor, was creamy and when I had some left over, I knew right away that a Cheddar Ale Mac n’ Cheese was going to happen in the near future.
Mac n’ cheese is so easy to make and it’s a definite crowd pleaser. With the beer flavor of the cheese, I also decided to add a buttery crumb topping using crushed sourdough pretzels and this macaroni and cheese dish was a HUGE hit! I also made this recipe again using a mild shredded cheddar and substituted ale for the milk and it came out perfectly in case you can’t find Cheddar Ale cheese locally.
When making macaroni and cheese at home just for my family of four, I like to use individual serving dishes; however, you can also bake this in an 8″x8″ oven safe baking dish. Also, don’t be concerned it the cheese sauce is a little runny when adding it to the pasta, as it does absorb into the pasta when baked to form a creamy, rich mac n’ cheese the entire family will love. ~Enjoy!
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- 1/2 lb . Elbow Macaroni
- 5 tbsp . Butter, divided
- 1 tbsp . All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 c . Heavy Cream
- 1/2 c . Ale or Lager
- 1 1/2 c . Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 tsp . Ground Mustard
- 4 Sourdough Pretzels
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook pasta according to package directions leaving the pasta al dente, drain and place back in the pot.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour forming a roux; then add the heavy cream and ale; mix well.
- Stir in the cheese and ground mustard and mix well until smooth; then lower heat and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken (approx. 5 minutes).
- Add the cheese mixture to the cooked pasta and mix well; then place in four individual oven safe baking dishes or one 8x8 baking dish.
- Crush the pretzels into bite size pieces using a mini food processor or blender, melt the remaining 4 tbsp. butter and mix the two together. Top the macaroni and cheese with the pretzels and bake for 20 minutes.
*You can also use a Cheddar Ale cheese blend, which can sometimes be found at a local gourmet food store and replace the ale with milk.
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*Originally posted July 2014