Corned Beef Mac and Beer Cheese, the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day dish
For many, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to proudly wear green, serve Crock Pot corned beef and cabbage, and indulge in a few Irish beers. For my family, it was always the Irish soda bread – without raisins and covered with a generous helping of salted butter.
While all of these foods taste great and give you a feeling of nostalgia, I wouldn’t rate them as good. And who just wants good food? Not this Irish chef. That’s where this corned beef macaroni and cheese with bechamel bechamel recipe comes in. It looks like a bite to eat, but believe me on this one.
This recipe starts with leftover corned beef because you know you always have some leftover. I cut it into cubes, crisp it in a hot skillet, then fold it in béchamel (the base of macaroni and cheese sauce, made with flour, butter, and milk) to bring out more flavor and add more texture.
Speaking of béchamel, I’m replacing some of the milk you would use in a traditional cream sauce with beer. This gives it a hoppy vibe and ties in with the Irish theme. I also stir in some grainy Dijon mustard for flavor and to cut the richness of the sharp cheddar cheese.
After that, I mix the sauce with my favorite type of noodle – cavatappi. The corkscrew shape is not only beautiful but it’s the perfect container for sauce. The little ridges on the pasta help get cheese into all the little nooks and crannies.
Finally, I top the macaroni and cheese with homemade rye bread croutons and grated Gruyère cheese. The Gruyere cheese gives this dish the final finishing push to make it truly feel like a St. Patrick’s Day miracle. If you can’t find rye bread (or don’t like it), use sourdough or just a traditional baguette.
So this St. Patrick’s Day, when you find yourself with an abundance of corned beef, try something other than making a sandwich. The only thing left to do is figure out what to do with all that leftover cabbage. Cabbage pancakes, anybody?
Macaroni with corned beef and cheese with beer
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large slices rye bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound cooked corned beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound cavatappi pasta (or similar form)
12 ounces of Irish beer
3 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add to baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool, then coarsely chop. Put aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the corned beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cavatappi and cook until al dente according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
5. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
6. Slowly stir in the beer, whisking continuously as you pour, to avoid lumps in the flour mixture. Then slowly add the milk followed by the Dijon mustard.
7. Bring the mixture to low heat and continue to whisk occasionally until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
8. Reduce heat, add cheddar cheese and stir until melted.
9. Add cooked pasta to pot and stir until coated in cheese sauce.
10. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Garnish with grated cheese and reserved breadcrumbs.
11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and golden.
12. Garnish with chives and serve.
The Huffington Gt