A silky beer and bacon-infused cheese sauce takes this mac and cheese up a notch. This recipe is perfect for entertaining or feeding a crowd.
Not much needs to be said for this Mac and cheese. Crispy bacon, beer and cheese all in one dish? Yes please!
This might seem like it’s ‘bloke-only’ food but I have to say, I loved this so much I had seconds and found myself picking at the left-overs all night. I like to make a huge amount of this as there never seems to be enough but also because I love (LOVE) left-over mac and cheese the next day. Re-heated with tons of chilli sauce, it’s one of my guilty pleasures in life.
Serve the mac and cheese with a zesty side salad and cold beers for a weeknight favourite revisited!
Beer & Bacon Mac 'n Cheese
for the sauce
- 500 g bacon diced
- 150 g butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 can beer approximately 330ml
- 250 ml milk
- 250 ml cream
- 2-3 cups strong cheddar grated
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 kg cooked macaroni reserve 2 cups of the cooking water
- 1 cup grated cheese mixed with 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°c and grease a large oven-proof dish.
- Fry the bacon in a large pot until crisp and golden.
- Remove the bacon from the pot but leave the fat.
- Add the butter to the bacon fat and allow to melt before adding the flour.
- Stir and cook for 1 minute before slowly pouring in the beer whilst whisking. When all the beer has been incorporated, add the milk and cream and mix until the sauce is smooth. At this point you might need to add a little more liquid, I just add more milk but you can also use chicken stock if you prefer. The sauce needs to be the consistency of shop-bought custard. Take the pot off the heat and Add the cheese and bacon back to the sauce as well as the smoked paprika and nutmeg, and stir until the cheese has melted. Season to taste.
- When the sauce is cooked, mix it with the cooked macaroni. Add some of the reserved cooking water and mix well. The macaroni needs to be well covered by the sauce and will almost look like it's got too much sauce covering it. If it doesn't, add more of the water. If you wanted to be very decadent you could add more cream at this stage too.
- Transfer the macaroni into the prepared dish and cover with the breadcrumbs/cheese mixture.
- Place in the oven and allow to bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.