Beer and Brats Mac and Cheese has three kinds of cheese, craft beer, and delicious bratwurst sausages. Since the flavor of the Queso Mahon-Menorca cheese pairs well with a nice craft beer I wanted to combine the two into a delicious and hearty macaroni and cheese. I received cheese from Mahón-Menorca Cheese to use in this post, however, all opinions are mine.
I really should make more macaroni and cheese recipes. We love them so much! I mean, who doesn’t, right? There’s pasta, there’s cheese, there’s creamy goodness. What’s not to love?
Well, my friend loved it so much, she decided to have a macaroni and cheese birthday party. I kid you not. She asked those who wanted to attend to cook up some macaroni and cheese. Of course, I couldn’t resist creating something amazingly delicious for my friend. Aside from the hubs, she’s one of a handful that I’ve known for over 10 years.
Since I had some delicious Questo Mahon-Menorca0 cured hard cheese I knew I had the basis for absolutely delicious macaroni and cheese. The cured hard reminds me of a combination between blue cheese and like Gruyere or Parmesan. OH yeah. It’s delicious.
But I knew hard cheese aren’t always the best for macaroni and cheese. And I also knew that I didn’t want another strong cheese to mask the flavor of the Spanish cheese. It needed to be a traditional macaroni and cheese cheese but not a cheddar. No Mozzarella or Asiago would work either. Colby! Colby is a good cheese that can stand up on its own, but also pair well with other cheeses.
The Colby is creamy and delicious and helps the Spanish cheese melt and be super creamy delicious. It was the perfect pairing of cheese for this delicious macaroni and cheese. Now, what type of sausage and what type of beer to add to this scrumptious idea I had.
Our local farmer’s market has a nice sausage vendor there. They have some really great, fresh, local sausage. It just so happens that I had some of their bratwurst in the freezer. I love supporting local businesses. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that their sausages are SO GOOD! We’ve had several of their flavors including their breakfast sausage.
Now, what kind of beer?
I knew it had to be a craft beer. Something that has great body and would really enhance all these flavors already going into the beer and brat macaroni and cheese. Thankfully, I had some IPA in the closet. The flavors in that IPA really bring out the flavors of the cheese and bratwurst. So, with all my ingredients set I knew this was going to be a killer macaroni and cheese.
I’m not one to bake a macaroni and cheese. Almost all of our macaroni and cheese dishes growing up were made on the stove top. I can’t remember a time where Mom or Dad baked one in the oven. I probably should at some point, but stove top mac and cheese is just my jam.
What purpose does baking the macaroni and cheese accomplish? I’ve been pondering this since she announced she wanted a macaroni and cheese birthday party. The only reason I can come up with is just to have the crunchy bits on top of the macaroni and cheese and maybe the crunch corners? Honestly, that’s the only reason I see to bake a macaroni and cheese.
Not that I’m bashing baking mac and cheese!
The only thing I can truly figure out is that people can’t eat macaroni and cheese without the superfluous bread crumb topping. There was one person at the party who said she didn’t like mac and cheese until she met her partner that puts buttery croutons on top. And now that’s the only way she can eat it.
Yes, I said croutons. Not just breadcrumbs, but croutons. I’m a #carbhoor but that, to me, is a bit of a carb overload. Croutons? I did taste a few of them when I ate their macaroni and cheese. While they were good I didn’t see that they were necessary. Their macaroni and cheese is delicious enough without them.
So this makes me think of what else is baked that doesn’t need to be like tuna casserole. I make a mean tuna casserole, but we also have a two stove top versions, too. One of them is the hubs’ stove top tuna casserole recipe and other is a one-pot stove top tuna noodle casserole version that’s pretty good.
However, I can honestly say that baking the tuna casserole really does make a difference in the way it tastes. Especially in the last batch I made. It was SO good! Even though it didn’t have peas in it the last batch I made was THE BEST! I will have to make it again and share it with you.
In this case, I think it is essential to bake it because the pasta does soak up some of the liquid in the casserole. The topping isn’t just a filler that’s not necessary. The breadcrumb and cheese topping really does prove a point to the tuna casserole.
But with macaroni and cheese? It’s just…filler!
At least that’s my opinion. Some will probably disagree. And some might adamantly disagree and probably say so in comments. But I will just have to say to each their own! Make your macaroni and cheese how you like, and I’ll make mine how I like it.
And I really liked this beer and brats mac and cheese! The Queso Mahon-Menorca has a rich flavor that truly is enhanced by the IPA or other craft beer you put with it. The bratwurst round out all the flavors with their spices. Its like a bratwurst topped with beer cheese on top of macaroni. So much flavor!
I hope you take a peek at Mahón-Menorca Cheese. They have so much flavor and truly make this macaroni and cheese amazing! Make sure you follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for inspiration and ideas when you finally get your hands on some. It’s worth a search to see if you can find some.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 – 1 cup beer (depending on how much beer flavor you like)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded Queso Mahon-Menorca Cured – Hard cheese
- 2 cups shredded Colby cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni
- 10 ounces cooked bratwurst kept warm (about 2 links)
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the butter and stir until melted.
- Using a whisk, stir in the flour and cook until lightly browned.
- Stirring constantly with a whisk, add the beer and milk. Add the dried mustard and garlic salt then cook until slightly thickened.
- Add the cream cheese and stir until it melts.
- Remove from heat and stir in the shredded cheeses. Continue stirring until the cheese has melted.
- Slice the warm bratwurst and fold into the macaroni and cheese before serving.
Add a splash of milk to the macaroni and cheese before reheating to keep it creamy.