How to Make The Creamiest Baked Mac N Cheese: Gouda Cheddar Beer Mac
How to Make The Creamiest Baked Mac N Cheese: Gouda CheddThe Creamiest Baked Mac N Cheesear Beer Mac. Perfectly cheesy and creamy every time!
For something so seemingly simple, it’s easy to get this wrong. It’s easy to end up with dried up pan of overcooked noodles in a curdled sauce. It’s easy to spend too much time and too much money on something that you just want to toss in the trash. I’ve devised a plan, a set of rules to make sure you don’t have to endure that tragedy again. I’ve got your back.
1. Cheese choice. Expensive cheese is great, it’s my spirit animal. But it’s best eaten in it’s natural state. Save the cheese, and your money, and go with cheddar. White cheddar melts better than the yellow/orange versions giving you a creamier sauce. I also use a bit of gouda, not crazy expensive, and melts beautifully. I also dig a smoked version for a little kick.
2. Roux + cornstarch = a must. You can’t get a creamy sauce without a solid roux backbone. The flour expands in your sauce to hold it together and gives it weight and thickness. The cornstarch holds the beer in place and keeps it creamy and prevents it from separating.
3. Cook dry noodles in the cheese sauce. Don’t boil them first. Just drop your dry noodles into your sauce. The starch from the noodles with thicken the sauce and the cheese will inject flavor into the noodles. But only cook them about half way, they will continue to cook in the oven.
4. Undercook. Twice. First, undercook the noodles on the stove top. You’ll be cooking them again in the oven so you just want to give them a small head start. Second, don’t over bake in the oven or you’ll dry out the sauce.
You don’t really have anything to cook, you’re just browning the panko. Some recipes will tell you to bake for 45 minutes, all this does is turn the cheese to a solid and dry your sauce. Some people like that. Some people want to be able to cut a square of mac n cheese and place it on the plate beside the BBQ’d ribs.
If you don’t want that, if you want scoopable mac n cheese, don’t bake it too long. Just brown the panko and take it out of the oven.
5. Size matters. Look for large elbow macaroni, not those little guys. The big ones are better at trapping that creamy sauce.
You’re ready. You can do this. You’ll have the best mac n cheese on the block and it’s up to you if you want to share your secrets. Or just make them wonder how you do it.
Creamy Baked Gouda Cheddar Beer Mac
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 tbs flour
- 2 tbs corn starch
- 3 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces beer pale ale, pilsner, wheat beer
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 lbs about 6 cups white cheddar, shredded
- 7 wt oz about 3 ½ cups gouda, shredded
- 4 cups large elbow macaroni
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 3 tbs melted butter
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter. Sprinkle with flour and cornstarch, whisk until a paste forms.
- Add milk and beer and bring to a simmer.
- Sprinkle with mustard powder, chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Slowly add the cheese in, about ¼ cup at a time, whisking until well combined before adding more. Reserve about 1 cup of cheese for the topping (a mixture of both cheeses).
- Add the dry noodles to the cheese sauce, allowing to cook until just before al dente, not cooked through, stirring occasionally. This will take about 8 minutes.
- Pour into a 4 qt baking dish in an even layer.
- Top with remaining cheese. Toss panko with melted butter until well coated. Sprinkle panko evenly on the top of the macaroni.
- Bake at 400 until panko has browned, about 15 minutes.
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 26, 2015 um 11:09 am
AH! So with you. Mac and cheese is definitely NOT foolproof! The creamier the better and this looks perfect! Definitely trying your recipe!
Megan January 27, 2015 um 5:26 am
This recipe sounds delicious! I do have a question: would any other style of beer work besides the ones you listed? My husband brews beer and we have a brown ale and an IPA on tap right now. Thanks!
Jackie January 27, 2015 um 12:47 pm
An IPA would give you a really strong beer flavor if that’s your thing. A brown ale would be nice, I’d use that.
Sophia @ NY Foodgasm January 27, 2015 um 10:25 am
YES- I WILL be making this one!
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie February 23, 2015 um 12:29 pm
I will definitely keep these in mind when preparing my next batch of mac and cheese. I did some and not others, one being the cornstarch which makes sense!
Ryan March 29, 2015 um 7:08 pm
Made this tonight for a few of the guys at the fire station. Was a complete success.
following your directions step by step made this an incredibly easy dish to prepare, when it was all gone, I had one come to me for a recipe, stating "unless it’s a secret or something"
Jackie March 30, 2015 um 9:19 pm
That’s so great! And you can totally keep it a secret, or give it out in trade for beer 😉
Kat May 10, 2015 um 8:51 am
Another great recipe! I’ve made this a number of times and gotten raves for it. If I need to travel with it, I put a little more milk in it and save the oven part for when I get to my destination. The cool down in between hasn’t hurt it much but I find that I need to cook the noodles more than halfway to make sure they are not too al dente in that case. I just got your cookbook and can’t wait to crack into it so keep up the great work! Cheers!
Steve November 26, 2015 um 8:40 pm
Instead of making my usual mac n cheese for Thanksgiving I gave this one a shot. It was amazing! I was worried about overheating the cheese while cooking the pasta but it turned out perfect!
Sam August 8, 2016 um 4:49 pm
How many servings will this make? I’m catering an even and would like to bake on-site…. And suggestions?
Jackie August 8, 2016 um 8:22 pm
It serves about 8.
damon shackelford September 8, 2016 um 4:45 am
I was wondering if you ever considered changing the structure
of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or
2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?
Michelle Linden August 7, 2017 um 12:41 pm
This shit looks perfect!! On it,and I will update you:)