bacon, beer, comfort food, food, mac and cheese, main dish, side dish, Southern
Who doesn’t love beer? Bacon? Mac and cheese? That’s what I though. No one!
I am normally a macaroni and cheese purist. We have the traditional family recipe and that it all we need. This recipe tempted me. I was not disappointed.
Other posts in this series:
Bacon Week Part 1: Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
Beer and Bacon Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces bacon
- 2.5 oz butter
- 3 tbsp bacon grease
- 1/4 cup flour
- 6 oz beer
- 4 oz milk
- 4 oz cream
- 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 lb cooked penne pasta (reserve 2 cups of the cooking water)
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese mixed with 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fry bacon until crispy; drain on a paper towel then chop. Boil the penne pasta until al dente, reserving about 2 cups of the cooking water (you may not use it all). In the bacon skillet on medium heat, combine the 3 tbsp of bacon grease and the 2.5 oz of butter. Melt and combine. Sprinkle flour into grease, whisking until smooth. Quickly add in beer, whisking to combine. Add milk and cream, whisking again until smooth. Allow to cook until bubbly and thickening to custard consistency. Remove from heat. Add shredded cheese, bacon, nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper, stirring until the cheese has melted. In a Dutch oven, combine the cheese sauce with the cooked penne pasta. If the sauce does not cover the pasta well, slowly add the reserved pasta water until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and cheese over pasta. Bake in oven for 20 minutes until bubbly.
Serves 6. Recipe from here.