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Porter Bacon Mac & Cheese

Servings: 8 to 10

Porter’s deep-roasted coffee flavors complement the rich, creamy cheese sauce, while its mild, smoky notes play off the bacon (even more so if you use a smoked porter).


  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter; more softened for the baking dish
  • 1 lb. bacon, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. elbow macaroni or small shell pasta
  • 1-1/8 oz. (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 12-oz. can evaporated milk, shaken
  • 1 cup porter; more as needed
  • 8 oz. sharp Cheddar, grated (3 cups)
  • 4 oz. Gruyère, grated (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 cup panko

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 570
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 280
  • Fat (g): 31
  • Saturated Fat (g): 17
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 90
  • Sodium (mg): 740
  • Carbohydrates (g): 45
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Sugar (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 24


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
  • Cook the bacon in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until very crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels. Discard or save the bacon fat for another use.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In the same pot used to cook the pasta, melt 4 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, whisking, until it becomes a pale golden paste, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the evaporated milk. Whisk until smooth, then whisk in the beer. Continue cooking, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, and stir in both cheeses a handful at a time. Stir in the ground mustard and 1/2 tsp. salt. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash of beer to thin it out. Stir in the pasta and bacon, and season to taste with salt.
  • Transfer the pasta to the prepared baking dish. Melt the remaining 4 Tbs. butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat or a medium bowl in the microwave. Stir in the panko and a pinch of salt. Scatter evenly over the pasta.
  • Bake until the edges are bubbly and the crumbs are golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Rate or Review

Reviews (11 reviews)

  • User avater
    2p1pinob | 04/04/2019

    Cheesy, rich and delicious.

  • kmkfrye | 03/17/2019

    This was soooo good! Perfect!

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