Ultimate Irish Macaroni and Cheese

While I have become increasingly obsessed with craft beer and homebrewing, there is still a special place in my heart for Guinness. It’s dark-but light!-and velvety and smooth. It’s comforting. Guinness is good for me. Especially when combined with chocolate. Or cheese!

I decided to make the ULTIMATE macaroni and cheese by starting with Kerrygold butter, spiking my bechamel with Guinness, and using Kerrygold’s Aged Cheddar and Dubliner as the chosen cheeses to melt in. Combined with whole wheat pasta, it made for an extremely earthy macaroni and cheese. I topped with panko, but it probably would have been even better with toasted Irish soda bread crumbs…

Ultimate Irish Macaroni and Cheese

1 box whole wheat pasta (usually about 13.25 oz. Cause that makes sense…)

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 bottle of Guinness (it’s ok if you sneak a few sips)

1 cup of whole milk

1 teaspoon mustard (dijon or spicy brown)

1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

7 oz. Dubliner

7 oz. Aged Cheddar

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get your water boiling for the pasta. Whenever the water comes to a boil, cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and let it cook together for a few minutes, until the butter has become a thick paste. Whisk in the Guinness and milk and cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened, about 7 minutes. Turn the heat down low and add in the mustard and worcestershire sauce. Slowly add in the cheese, melting each batch completely before adding more. Adjust seasonings.

Take off the heat and combine with the pasta in a 2 quart baking dish. Top with panko and bake for 25-30 minutes.

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Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

I have never been a girl to eat vanilla ice cream. Why would I waste my time? There’s chocolate chip cookie dough, blueberry, Phish food, and yes-even Crazy Vanilla back in the day.

When I first got my ice cream maker, vanilla was the obvious first soiree. But instead, I made cookies and cream. Good decision.

The original recipe calls for milk chocolate. I had semi-sweet. The original called for Guinness Stout. I had their black lager. And so we adapt.

My ice cream maker has yet to see a vanilla ice cream, and the outlook for that is doubtful. What it has seen is peanut butter cup, and Bailey’s, and for the second time now, Chocolate Guinness! Life is good.

Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop: Ice Cream, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

little pinch of salt

4 large egg yolks (save those whites for breakfast-it balances out the ice cream!)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup Guinness

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Finely chop your chocolate and place in a large bowl. Have a mesh strainer ready. Set aside.

Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over low heat. Do not boil. Beat your egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, very slowly pour small amounts of the milk mixture into the eggs to temper them. Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly, making sure not to bring it to a boil. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens, enough to coat a spoon.

Pour the resulting custard through the strainer and into the bowl of chocolate. Stir together until all of the chocolate has melted. Mix in the cream, Guinness, and vanilla and allow to cool.

Place in the refrigerator for several hours before churning in your ice cream maker. Ice cream makers vary, so I’ll let them take it from here!