It’s always interesting to try something different with a classic. Not content with, although always very welcome, standard macaroni cheese I wanted to add a few bits here and there to make it extra special. I dreamt up my beer, mustard and onion macaroni cheese and set about making it. I wasn’t sure how best to incorporate the beer so I settled on trying out a beer béchamel.
You will need (for 2):
- 150g macaroni
- 25g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 100ml milk
- 200ml beer – preferably a bitter
- 50g strong cheddar, grated
- 100g emmental, grated
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2-3 tsp caramelised onions
- Salt and pepper
Cook the macaroni according to packet instructions. Preheat and oven to 180C.
To make the beer béchamel melt the butter over a medium heat then add the flour. Cook the flour for at least one minute. Mix together the milk and beer then slowly add this to the butter and flour, stirring all the time so you don’t get any lumps. Cook the béchamel for a few minutes until thickened then remove from the heat.
Add the mustard, salt and pepper and two thirds of the cheese to the béchamel and stir it all together well.
Mix the cooked macaroni into the sauce then put into an ovenproof dish. Distribute the caramelised onions evenly over the top of the macaroni then cover the onions with the remaining cheese.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Using the combination of emmental and cheddar gives a good balance of sweet, to savoury and stringy. The wholegrain mustard gives a nice warmth without being too harsh and the caramelised onions give a lovely bit of sweetness and texture. As far as I’m concerned beer goes with everything and the combination of beer, mustard and onions with cheese and pasta is an absolute winner. Give this a try for something different next time.