Jalapeno Pilsner Mac and Cheese
This is what beer and food pairings are all about! A match made in heaven. Rich and gooey mac and cheese is cooked with our Jalapeno Pilsner for the ultimate beer cheese sauce. Broiled in the oven to finish, this crunchy topped mac is then paired with our Jalapeno Pilsner which cuts perfectly through the rich cheese and keeps you hungry for more.
Our Jalapeno Pilsner has been a year-round staple for us at Spice Trade for a long time. The base beer is a bright and bitter German Pilsner that we infuse with freshly chopped jalapenos. This beer is high in flavor with a very well-balanced level of spice that leaves you wanting another sip, not crying in pain. This is not a painful beer to drink, it’s a refreshing beer to drink. We’ve been making it in small batches at our brewpub and have finally caved into the demand to get this beer into cans. This beer works so well with food, especially fatty and rich foods, because of how crisp and effervescent the base beer is while having a healthy dose of spice that can cut through intense flavors and reset your pallet for another bite.
Mac and cheese, the ultimate comfort food! The recipe below is a bit more complicated then the blue box but man is it worth it! The most important thing with mac and cheese is splurging a bit to get really good cheese. Its basically the entire dish so there’s no reason to cut corners there. Find a cheese shop near you and see what they have to offer. Most good cheese shops will let you taste a few options to pick what works best for you. I really like St Kilian’s Cheese Shop in Denver which has an amazing selection of cheese and cured meats. This recipe calls for 3 different types of cheese which will get cooked with the beer to make a delicious cheese sauce with a subtle spice and mild jalapeno flavor.
- 1lb Pasta (I prefer Conchiglie)
- 12oz Jalapeno Pilsner (drink the other 4oz in the can while you cook!)
- 12oz Can Evaporated Milk
- 16oz Sharp Cheddar
- 5oz Gouda
- 5oz Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 eggs
- 1tsp Hot Sauce
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 2tsp Corn Starch
- 1 stick butter – cut into small chunks
- 1 Jalapeno – thinly sliced
Start by mixing the beer and evaporated milk together in a small pot. Heat until simmering. Stir and cook until reduced by 1/3. Take off heat and allow to cool slightly (if its too hot when you add it to the egg mixture later it will curdle).
While the beer mixture is reducing, fill a large pot with water and season with a generous amount of salt to cook your pasta in. Your pasta water should taste as salty as seawater. While you’re waiting for this to boil, shred all your cheese and combine into a large bowl. Set aside.
In a separate small bowl mix together the eggs, hot sauce, mustard and corn starch until well mixed and the corn starch is dissolved. The eggs and mustard help to emulsify the cheese sauce so it doesn’t break while the corn starch helps thicken the sauce up as it cooks in the oven.
Cook your pasta until it is cooked a bit less than al dente (still has a slight crunch, its going to cook more in the oven so you don’t want to overcook it). When your pasta is done cooking drain and return to the large pot.
Add the butter and the beer mixture to the pot and stir gently until the butter is melted. Add the cheese and the egg mixture to the pot and stir gently until the cheese has mostly melted and everything is combined. Transfer the entire pot into a large cast iron skillet, top with sliced jalapenos and broil on high in the oven for 8-10 minutes, rotating once or twice so the skillet browns evenly.
Pour yourself a Jalapeno Pilsner and enjoy!