Mac and Cheese is the quintessential comfort food. I love a gourmet version that is made from scratch with gooey cheese sticking to the fork of each bite. I am also not opposed to the box variety; it got me through college and it still gets me through a bad day. This pub style mac and cheese that Keith created is simply delightful. It is comfort food beyond compare, as it uses some of my favorite vices: beer, cheese, and pretzel bread. It doesn’t get better than this. Keith’s Pub Style Mac and Cheese was conceived out of his love for traditional bar appetizers. He makes a simple mac and cheese (which he can do with his eyes closed) for the kids all the time. But for this version, he wanted to add some more developed flavor to appeal to an adult palette. He geniusly blended two cheeses with a bit of IPA and mustard to create the perfect “tang”. We chose elicoidali pasta for this dish, as this tube-shaped pasta with helix ridges best soaks up the beer cheese flavor to create a perfect, ooey-gooey bite. The “piece de résistance” of this dish are the homemade crunchy pretzel pieces crisped up and placed on top of the mac and cheese. Keith used Bavarian pretzel rolls to create a pretzel “crouton” that takes this dish to the next level. We enjoy this delicious comfort food with a nice KBC IPA.
A gourmet mac and cheese made with beer cheese, mustard, and a Bavarian pretzel topping
- 8 oz dry pasta (we used elicoidali)
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 6 oz beer (we used an IPA)
- 1/4 c milk
- 1 tbsp coarse-ground mustard
- 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 3 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese (shredded)
- 1 C soft pretzel, diced into 1/4” pieces
- Boil pasta according to directions on package
- Drain and set aside
- In a sauce pan, melt 2 tbsp butter and mix in 2 tbsp flour and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add beer and stir until combined
- Add milk and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
- Add cheese and mustard and reduce heat to low. (if too thick you can add more milk or beer). You want a medium thickness to the sauce.
- In a separate pan, melt 2 tbsp butter and add chopped pretzels to coat with butter.
- Combine cheese sauce and pasta and transfer to an oven safe container and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with pretzel pieces and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes.
- Serve and enjoy