Smoked Gouda, Bacon, and Caramelized Onion Mac

 This is the most delicious macaroni and cheese.

June 2014-I went on my first date with my dude. He wanted to order the bacon and caramelized onion mac&cheese, but then proceeded to tell me he had diarrhea a lot… Then ordered it anyway. We still go back to that restaurant from time to time, and we still periodically get this dish. It’s good, but we think I made it better. 

My friends loved this lip smacking macaroni dish. It fed 8 people. No leftovers! Everyone insists I must make it again. I might double the recipe next time so I can have some for the next day.. Or eat more to our hearts desires. I bought the ingredients I knew I needed, but the amounts might be slightly off since I didn’t follow any recipe, at all. This is all from my brains and the cooking skills I’ve acquired over the years. 

  •  1 pound pasta
  • 1 pound shredded smoked Gouda
  • 1/2 pound shredded cheddar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 pound bacon, fat reserved
  • 2 chopped white onions
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 oz IPA (Pilsner, lager, pale ale also would work, maybe better in fact)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped  
  • 4 oz flour
  
All bacon fat everythangggg!

Cook pasta al dente. Cook bacon slightly underdone, reserve fat. Cook onions with the brown sugar and garlic until they’re caramelized. Do that in whatever order, take your time. You’re going to assemble it all in a big dish later anyway; it won’t matter if it’s hot or cold. If anything, cook bacon first so you can cook the onion in the bacon fat and also use the fat instead of oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Put everything you’ve cooked so far into a big baking pan. Toss around, coating the pasta in the bacon fat.
 
Almost finished cheese sauce

To make the cheese sauce… You’re going to toss the cheese with the flour. I’m not sure how many ounces of flour, exactly. It’s at least 4, if not 6-8 oz. All the cheese should just be slightly white from the flour. In a deep pan, melt the butter over medium. Slowly add in the cream and beer. When it starts to bubble a bit, add in the cheese/flour mixture, a little at a time. Say, like a fistful at once. Stir like the dickens. You want each fistful of cheese to be totally incorporated before you add another cheese fist. Keep going until it’s all together and melty and amazing. Then pour over the pasta and mix some more. 
At this point, you could probably eat it. I started to. But then I decided to top it with some CheezIts and other buttery crackers and bake it off for like 5 more minutes. It was worth it. 
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