Featured Wisconsin Cheeses: Butterkäse
Beer, Brat and Butterkäse Mac & Cheese
1 small onion
2 12-ounce bottles of your favorite beer
1 pound elbow macaroni or other small cut pasta like rotini or penne
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
8 ounces (2 cups) Wisconsin Butterkäse cheese, shredded
8 ounces (2 cups) Wisconsin Monterey Jack or Co-Jack cheese, shredded
Slice the onion thinly and drop it into the bottom of a medium saucepan. Place the brats on top of the onion, then pour the beer over this mixture and cook covered at low heat for 1 hour. Remove the brats from the mixture and thinly slice. Reserve one cup of the beer and set aside. (Note: You can also save about 1/4 cup of the onions if desired, just chop them into small pieces.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat a large pot of water for the macaroni. While you’re waiting for it to boil, brown the brat slices in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once they’re browned, set them aside. Add the macaroni to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain.
While the macaroni is cooking, add the butter to a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Once butter is melted, whisk in the flour and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the reserved beer, milk, mustard, hot sauce, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk this mixture until the flour is blended in, then cook for roughly 5-6 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken a bit.
Once the mixture starts to thicken, add in the brats and onions (if using), then the cheese. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir until the cheese has melted.
Combine the pasta with the cheese mixture and pour into a lightly buttered baking dish (2-quart round or 9×9-inch dish). Bake for 20 minutes. Cool for 3-5 minutes before serving.
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Butterkase, Macaroni & Cheese, Recipe, Wisconsin Cheese
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