I did not boil the pasta in beer since I always use at least a gallon of water to boil pasta, but damn this was so fricking rich I doubt it would of made much of a difference.
I cut the recipe in half since it was huge. I doubted I would find Irish butter or cheddar and was amazed that ghetto Russ’s had both. Did not have the smoked gruyere so I substituted some apple wood smoked cheddar for a 1/4 of the cheddar.
Funny thing about the Irish butter. I was gonna ask the friendly Russ’s associate what made Irish butter so cool when she grabbed it and went insane telling me how cool it was. “Oh my gosh we have this?” “This stuff is sooooo good, I had it on the plane heading over there and enjoyed it with everything.” “You can eat it plain with a spoon like candy” I told her where to find it in the store, for which she thanked me. I was intrigued and had to try it on some baguette when I got home. It does seem denser and a bit sweeter than regular butter, but nothing all that special.
The irish cheddar was white and very good. With our usual mac and cheese we use plain ol Kraft cheddar. I think we will not do that again though. Quality cheeses really make the meal.
Of course I used the uber bacon from Ideal. There simply is not a better bacon available year round here in Lincoln.
Just look at how amazingly beautiful that bacon is. It looks like a rainbow of deliciousness.
This is not a baked mac and cheese, more of an instant. The bacon and bread crumbs are sprinkled on top of the cheezy pasta.
The bread crumbs are from some baguettes I made, dried, and chopped to a powder in my food processor. I have to admit that I took extreme pride making my own bread crumbs from bread I made.
This dish was severely rich. I almost went into a coma from the intense flavor. The smokiness from the cheese and bacon were strong. It was a bit thin after adding the cheese so we tempered in an egg, that added to the thick mouth feel. Neither of us made it through 1/2 of our bowls. It was nap inducing, artery clogging, tongue humping bliss. Theresa said she could taste the beer a bit too much. I did not notice it, but there were so many complex flavors maybe I just did not pick that one out.
I doubt we will make it again, but it has changed the way we look at mac and cheese forever. Our usual recipe is gonna get a nummy cheese tweaking for sure.