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.
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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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Cheddar Ale Mac n’ Cheese
- 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.
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*Originally posted July 2014