Boy howdy, it’s been a busy week.
Since I work overnights, I’m the gatekeeper between breaking news and what our crews cover for the morning news. I intently listen to police scanners, while also working on my show, to anything strange or off-kilter. Shootings, stabbings, and house fires happen A LOT at night. Like my mama always said, “nothing good happens after midnight.”
This week we’ve had some type of breaking news happen about an hour before our 5 a.m. show almost every single day, ending the week with a deadly house fire. That makes 9 people dead in house fires since January 1st. Last year, there were 10 deaths all year. Firefighters are at a loss for words. The only thing all of the fires had in common: no working smoke detectors.
I can’t stress this enough. Smoke will not wake you up. That’s where smoke detectors come in. A high-pitched squeal will definitely wake you up. I know it annoys the crap out of me when I burn something while cooking.
That’s my PSA of the day. Now, let’s talk food.
The thing sustaining my life force throughout the week has been this macaroni and cheese I made. I’m a firm believer in baked mac & cheese. I’ve made the same recipe for years. I like custard-style over regular roux+cheese style. That being said, this recipe was excellent.
It’s a stove-top version that’s easy as pie to make. The most difficult part is cooking up the bratwurst. I decided to grill mine on the grill pan first, but you could easily skip this step and go straight to chopping them up and cooking them with the green pepper in beer.
The beer and cheese combination is phenomenal. There’s a reason why those two things should be married as much as possible! You really get that good, deep wheaty flavor that comes out in this dish. Paired with hot melty cheese, you’ve got yourself a flavor party in your mouth. It’s that good.
I still haven’t figured out a good way to reheat refrigerated macaroni and cheese, though. It’s never quite as good as when you first make it. If anyone has any advice, let me know. It’s one of those things I just NEED to know!
Beer Brat Mac & Cheese
A cheesy stove-top macaroni & cheese with beer bratwurst.
- 16 oz. elbow macaroni
- 1 lb. bratwurst
- 1 TBS. olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 12 oz. beer
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Grill bratwurst for 4-5 minutes per side, until almost fully cooked. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes, and then chop into pieces.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add green pepper and saute until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add chopped bratwurst and cook for 1 minute. Stir in half of the beer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover pan. Cook for an additionally 10 minutes, until brats are fully cooked.
- In same pot where macaroni was in, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and let cook 1-2 minutes. Pour in milk and remaining 6 ounces of beer. Stir until thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in cheeses.
- Drain peppers and brats and stir until cheese mixture along with the macaroni. Serve.
Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Grill bratwurst 4-5 minutes per side until almost cooked fully. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for a few minutes and then chop into pieces.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender.
Stir in bratwurst and cook for about 1 minute.
Pour in half of the beer and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover and cook for 10 minutes until brats are fully cooked.
In same pot that macaroni was cooked in, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in the rest of the beer and milk. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in cheeses. Drain brats and peppers and stir into cheese mixture with macaroni.