The other day the hubs and I were all like, “Hey. We haven’t made mac and cheese in a while.” Sad truth. And then we were all like, “Well hey, let’s rectify this!” So we did. And this was born. And it was beautiful.
Our usual go-to mac was always the Bacon Jalapeño Mac and Cheese, but now that I’m a pesky pescetarian, we opted to try something new; something new with mushrooms and beer and it was magical.
You’ll notice that I start with a roux in order to make my cheese sauce. Some people don’t believe in this step anymore; call me old fashioned, but I do. It always makes the best. Cheese sauce. Ever. And who doesn’t want the best cheese sauce ever? Who wants a cheese sauce that just cuts it? Who wants to dig into an okay looking mac and cheese and say, “This looks wonderfully mediocre!”
Okay, I might be exaggerating. I’m sure some people out there have their preferences and their own way of doing things. Mine, however, stands by a roux. Thicken that shit so it sticks to my ribs, bro.
Beer and Mushroom Mac and Cheese
FOR THE MUSHROOMS1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 cup of cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1/4 cup of beer at room temperature
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste.
FOR THE SAUCE2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of beer room temp
- 8 oz of smoked gouda shredded
- 8 oz of muenster shredded
- kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
PASTAShells, macaroni, or rotini work best.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a stove-top friendly dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Once the butter is melted, add the sliced mushrooms and the 1/4 cup of beer.
- Simmer for approx. 8 minutes, or until all of the butter and beer has been absorbed by the mushrooms.
- Season with a bit of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Prepare the pasta noodles as per the instructions on the packaging.
- In the same vessel you cooked the mushrooms in, melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Gradually whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. Continue to whisk until a thick roux forms.
- While whisking, add the milk.
- Bring the heat up a bit so the milk comes to a boil, and whisk until the roux has dissolved into the milk, thickening the sauce.
- While whisking, slowly add 1/2 cup of beer.
- Allow to simmer until the sauce thickens again.
- Add the shredded cheeses and stir until the cheese melts.
- If the sauce is too thick, you can gradually add more milk as you whisk until you reach a desired consistency.
- Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Transfer the mushrooms to the cheese sauce and stir.
- Drain the pasta once it's done. Don't rinse.
- Carefully dump the pasta into the cheese sauce and stir to coat.
- For a slightly crispy top, place the mac and cheese under a broiler (on high) for a few minutes. Time varies since all ovens are different, so keep the oven light on and keep a very close eye on it.