Ealana’s Recipe Pic of the Month

 

It is that time of year for cooking and baking with some stout beer!  This mac & cheese is so rich and creamy.  A grown-up version of the classic!  Enjoy!

Guinness & Irish Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients

Macaroni and cheese:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2/3 cup Guinness or other stout
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 ounces cream cheese cut into pieces
  • 3 1/2 cups grated Irish cheddar divided  (I used Kerrygold aged cheddar)

Topping (optional):

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Instructions

Topping (if using):

  1. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Add garlic and breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted and the mixture is fragrant.  Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper to taste and minced parsley.  Set aside.

Macaroni and cheese:

  1. Boil elbow macaroni in well salted water and cook until just al dente.  Before draining the pasta, reserve a cup of the pasta water and set it aside (see note).  While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce:
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sprinkle in flour.  Whisk together for a minute.  While whisking, pour in Guinness, milk, half and half, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking frequently, until it thickens slightly (several minutes).  Add cream cheese and 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar and stir/whisk until completely smooth.  Add drained, cooked pasta and stir to combine.  Add remaining 1 cup grated cheddar and stir until melted (this will help achieve a stringy/cheesy texture).  Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls and sprinkle the top with the reserved toasted breadcrumbs.  Serve immediately.