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We recently had a BBQ get together and I wanted to try something that was guy friendly. So what’s better then mac and cheese and beer? I left out the sliced cheese and the basil, but over all it was really good with the sharpness of the cheese and the beer flavor.

Beer Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
(Adapted from Homemade by Holman)

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12 oz uncooked whole wheat elbow or shell pasta
2 T unsalted butter
2 T flour
1 cup milk
1 cup beer
4 oz smoked cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz mild cheddar cheese, grated
6 slices American cheese (I left this out)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
10 basil leaves (I left this out)

Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add a liberal amount of salt when boiling and add pasta. Cook to just al dente, according to package directions. Drain and return to pan or crock pot if you want to keep it hot for a while (you don’t want to cook it in the crock pot but it can stay on low for a short while, if you plan to leave it in the crock pot for an extended time, you’ll want to cook your pasta just shy of al dente so it doesn’t turn mushy.)

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to make a roux. Continue whisking until the roux start to turn golden and bubbles, about two minutes. Add milk and beer, stirring constantly. Cook for about five minutes until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.

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Reduce heat to low and add cheeses by the handful, stirring to melt and incorporate.

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The sauce will thicken slightly but will not be as thick as regular mac and cheese at this point. Add paprika, mustard, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.

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Pour sauce over pasta and stir to distribute.

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Chiffonade basil leaves by stacking and rolling tightly, then use a sharp knife to cut thin slices to form ribbons. Stir basil into pasta and serve.

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