Guinness and Irish Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • MACARONI AND CHEESE:
  • • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • • 2 tablespoons butter
  • • 2 tablespoons flour
  • • 2/3 cup Guinness or other stout
  • • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • • 1/2 cup half and half
  • • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • • 2 ounces cream cheese cut into pieces
  • • 3 1/2 cups grated Irish cheddar divided (I used Kerrygold aged cheddar)
  • TOPPING (OPTIONAL):
  • • 1 tablespoon butter
  • • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • • salt/pepper to taste
  • • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

Directions

MACARONI AND CHEESE:
1. Boil elbow macaroni in well salted water and cook until just al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve a cup of the pasta water and set it aside (see note). While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese sauce:
2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together for a minute. While whisking, pour in Guinness, milk, half and half, salt, pepper, and mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking frequently, until it thickens slightly (several minutes). Add cream cheese and 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar and stir/whisk until completely smooth. Add drained, cooked pasta and stir to combine. Add remaining 1 cup grated cheddar and stir until melted (this will help achieve a stringy/cheesy texture). Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls and sprinkle the top with the reserved toasted breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.
RECIPE NOTES

If the macaroni and cheese thickens up too much, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water (or additional milk) to make it creamy again

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