Remember that mac & beer cheese that I mentioned we had at Stone Brewery during our stay in San Diego? And how I promised I’d be recreating it at home? Well, this is its moment of pure, cheesy goodness. After a lot of research and a fair bit of tweaking, I’ve come up with a recipe for what I think is a pretty accurate representation of their dish. Of course, you can always get a little fancy with the spices if you want, or use milk instead of cream, or different kinds of cheese or beer – make it your own! This is by far the best mac & cheese I’ve made, and I know I’ll be making it again and again. I also know it’s going to be great this summer as a side to the many hot dogs and hamburgers we’ll be consuming once grilling season gets underway…and, I think it’ll be a perfect potluck dish as well. Enjoy!
For the pasta:
- 1 tsp salt
- 16 ounces elbow macaroni
For the sausage:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp of your favorite ale
- 16 ounces andouille or smoked sausage
For the beer-cheese sauce:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups of your favorite ale
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 lb cheddar stout cheese
- 1/2 lb gouda cheese
For the topping:
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 12×8″ baking dish with cooking spray. In a large pot, boil water and the salt. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and ale. Saute the sausage until good and browned. Drain.
To make the cheese sauce, scald the cream and beer (heat until just about to boil) in a medium sauce pan.
In a small bowl, microwave the butter and flour until the butter is melted, and then stir to make a thick paste.
Drop the paste into the hot beer mixture, and continue cooking over low-medium heat until thickened. Stir in the garlic and pepper. Stir in the cheeses (you may need to move the sauce to a bigger bowl like I did). If sauce is too thick, thin with more beer, if too thin, add more cheese.
In a small bowl, whisk together the topping ingredients.
Toss the beer-cheese sauce with the macaroni and sausage.
Spoon into the prepared dish and sprinkle with the topping.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.