Guinness pretzel mac and cheese

I'll confess I'm not the biggest corned beef fan, unless it's chopped and cooked crisp with potatoes and onions as a hash topped with a perfect egg! This is my contribution to St Patty's day festivities.

I mean really do you need corned beef if you have pasta with cheese, beer, bacon and pretzels?

This one I made up for my brother who happens to be one of the biggest bacon fans I know, and enjoys a beer now and again. I remember as kids having mac and cheese on the nights mom and dad would have date night, pretty sure there was cut up hot dogs in it as well! This is NOTHING like that lol!

Mac and cheese has come a long way baby.

This is uber creamy from the amazing cheese sauce speckled with green onion and the background flavor of the stout. The casserole dish is buttered and dusted with parmesan so it gets a nice little cheesy bottom. Topped with a crunchy cheesy pretzel top it's the perfect combo of flavors and textures.

It comes together relatively fast, then bakes for 30 minutes and you have a mouthwatering dish ready to devour. I think some jalapenos in this would be yummy as well.


Guinness pretzel mac and cheese

Serves 8

1 lb tubular pasta cooked to al dente

6 Cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (if you have the time grate the cheese fresh, packaged has a powder to keep it fresh and the taste is never as good as fresh grated)

1 Cube + 1TB butter

1/3 Cup flour

3 Cups low fat milk

1/4 cup half and half

4 Green onion chopped whites and greens separate

1/2 Cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp chopped fresh garlic

1/2 Tb dry mustard

1 1/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp pepper

3/4 Cup Guinness extra stout

4 Slices of bacon cooked to almost crispy stage and chopped

1 Cup crushed pretzels

1 Tb dried parsley or 3 Tb fresh chopped

Pre heat oven to 400. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with 1 Tb of butter and coat with 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, shake dish around to coat all over.

Melt 6 Tb of the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted add garlic and white part of the green onions, cook for about a minute. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly and slightly golden in color. Add dry mustard and the beer, whisk until smooth, slowly add the milk and the half and half and whisk until incorporated. Continue whisking for about another 3 minutes to let the flour start thickening things up a bit. Add in 5 cups of the cheddar in a few batches whisking continuously to melt the cheese and become smooth. Add the green onion, salt, pepper and mix in the pasta be sure its all coated very well.

Pour half of the pasta into the prepared dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheddar then pour the rest of the pasta over that.

Melt the remaining 2 Tb butter in a small bowl and add the crushed pretzels, remaining 1/4 cup parmesan, bacon crumbles and parsley, stir to coat well. Sprinkle on top of pasta and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

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