Beer Mac and Cheese

I love Macaroni and Cheese. Gooey, cheesey, crispy baked edges, I will even admit to eating the stuff from a box.
I came across a version of this recipe around Thanksgiving and it was a hit.For Superbowl Sunday I made it again, but this time in a crock pot.The crock pot worked well and even got a little crusty on the top edges.
When it comes to choosing a beer, I would stick to a lager or pilsner. As for cheese, I like to use a blend cheddar, mozzarella, fontina or havarti if you have it, and some blue cheese (I like the slight tanginess). Feel free to use your favorite types of cheese, I would just recommend using at least 2 cups of cheddar and no more than a 1/2 cup of blue cheese (if you decide to use blue cheese).

Beer Mac and Cheese

3 tbsp  unsalted butter
3 tbsp AP flour
1 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper
1-2 tsp cayenne (you can adjust to your taste)
1 1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups of beer
5 cups cheese (i used 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, 1/2 cup blue cheese, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, 1/2 cup havarti)
1 pound pasta (ziti, elbow, penne, I used Pipetti because it was on sale and I liked the shape)

Cook pasta to al dente, remeber that it will cook more in the sauce. After drainig put the pasta back in the pot with a lid

Over medium heat mlet the butter and slowly whisk in the flour, stirring constantly. You don’t want  a lot of color, you just want to cook out the raw flour taste. Add the dry mustard and cayenne. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes
Conitue to whisk while adding the half and half. Adjust the heat to a simmer and conitue stirring occasionally for 2 more minutes.
Add beer, conitue to cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally over low heat

Add cheese and stir until melted. Taste the cheese sauce and add peper and salt if needed, I found that you need little or no salt, the cheeses are usually salty enough. Add cheese sauce to the pasta. At this point you can put it in the crock pot on low for 4-5 hours or bake in a 13×9 buttered baking dish covered with foil at 375 for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
 Let this cool for about 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) and ENJOY!

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