Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Beer Mac’n’Cheese


Oh, what a holy trinity of B’s–bacon, brussels sprouts and beer. Then throw in some smoked gouda, smoked fontina and garlic breadcrumbs and how could you go wrong? That’s right, you can’t. Enjoy 😉


Adapted from How Sweet It Is

1 pound of cooked macaroni
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound of brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced/chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk + 1 cup beer (something delicious like a nice ale or IPA–there’s a time and a place for light beer but this is not it)
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces smoked gouda cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces smoked fontina cheese, freshly grated
2 ounces parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
cayenne pepper (to taste)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a large, 12-inch oven-safe skillet oven medium-low heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy. Add in the shallot, half of the garlic and brussels spouts, stirring well to coat. Cook until the brussels soften, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and toss the pasta in with the brussels.


To make the cheese sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Once it’s sizzling, whisk in the flour to create a roux and cook until it is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the milk, beer and the cream, stirring the entire time and cook until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

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Stir in the fontina, gouda and parmesan, stirring until the cheese is melted.  


Stir in the nutmeg and cayenne. Once the cheese is melted, pour it over the pasta in the skillet and toss well to coat.

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In another skillet heat 1T butter and 1T olive oil. Add the other half of the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the panko breadcrumbs and cook until lightly browned. 

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Distribute evenly over pasta. Top with additional cheese if needed and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.

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