I don’t know about where you are, but here in Belgium we are yo-yoing on the cusp between winter and spring. Warmer days have me craving lighter and healthier food but on the cool and cloudy ones by body wants comfort food. And what is more comforting that chili? Or macaroni and cheese? How about combing the two and throwing in a cup or two of beer? Yes, you read that right. Beer infused chili macaroni and cheese. What’s not to love?
I adapted this recipe from the always fun Bakeaholica Mama food blog. (If you haven’t checked her out, do so. Her entire website is filled with delicious and inspiring recipes). The original recipe simply called for beer but since you can taste the beer in every bite, be sure to use one you love. In the Brown household Sam Adams Boston Lager is the beer of choice so that is what I used. Some people insist that their chili must have meat in it but this recipe is so hearty that you won’t even miss it. Meat lovers, beer lovers, and vegetarians alike are sure to fall for this recipe. So cook some up for a crowd today and be comforted on these last days of winter.
BEER AND JACK CHILI MAC n’ CHEESE
For the chili:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 jalapeno sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup beer (Sam Adams)
1 – 11 ounce can corn
1 – 15 oz can of black beans
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
- When the oil shimmers, add the onions, yellow pepper, jalapeno, and garlic. Saute until the onions are soft and the mixture is fragrant.
- Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the tomatoes, beer, corn, black beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, and balsamic vinegar.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and allow to cook until the flavors have melded and the chili has thickened, at least half an hour but longer if desired.
For the macaroni and cheese:
1 16 oz box of pasta
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup beer (Sam Adams Lager)
1 cup light cream
10 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
4 oz mascarpone cheese
2 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Minced cilantro and diced avocado, if desired
- While the chili is cooking, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain, return to the pot, an set aside.
- In a medium sauce pan melt the butter until it is foamy.
- Whisk in the flour to form a thick paste then slowly add the beer and cream. Whisk well to ensure there are no lumps.
- Bring to a low boil then remove from the heat.
- Stir in the jack and cheddar cheeses and the mascarpone until completely incorporated.
- Season with salt and pepper then pour over the reserved pasta. Stir well.
- Pour the chili over the macaroni and cheese and mix until fully combined.
- Serve topped with minced cilantro and diced avocado if desired.