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Porter Bacon Mac & Cheese

Porter Bacon Mac & Cheese
  • Category


  • Cusine



4 oz. unsalted butter; more softened for the baking dish

1 lb. bacon, cut into 3/4-inch dice

Kosher salt

1 lb. elbow macaroni or small shell pasta

1-1/8 oz. all-purpose flour

1 12-oz. can evaporated milk, shaken

1 cup porter; more as needed

8 oz. sharp Cheddar, grated

4 oz. Gruyère, grated

1 tsp. ground mustard

1 cup panko


Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until very crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels. Discard or save the bacon fat for another use. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. In the same pot used to cook the pasta, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, whisking, until it becomes a pale golden paste, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the evaporated milk. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the beer. Continue cooking, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in both cheeses a handful at a time. Stir in the ground mustard and 1/2 tsp. salt. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash of beer to thin it out. Stir in the pasta and bacon, and season to taste with salt. Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish. Melt the remaining 4 Tbs. butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat or a medium bowl in the microwave. Stir in the panko and a pinch of salt. Scatter evenly over the pasta. Bake until the edges are bubbly and the crumbs are golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.