I think one of the most fun parts of October is the celebration of Oktoberfest! A lot of the local bars around here get some special beers on tap this time of year and pair them with amazing cheeses and sausages. I took that inspiration with me into making this incredible, comforting and decadent bratwurst and beer mac and cheese!
Once the bechamel sauce was done cooking, everything came together quickly!
I used medium pasta shells for this recipe because I love how they catch all of the goodness. They were cooked off while the bechamel sauce was cooking so that everything was done at once. I had also sliced my cooked bratwurst into little bite sized rounds.
Let me tell you, this dinner was heaven in a bowl. The beer and savory bratwurst cut through the richness of the cheese sauce perfectly. Then there was the smokiness of the gouda, the sharpness of the cheddar and the creaminess of the gruyere. It was all of the great flavors of Oktoberfest in one bite! Enjoy, friends. xoxo
This bratwurst and beer mac and cheese is inspired by the great flavors of Oktoberfest! It is pure comfort for the cooler weather this fall.
- 6 links Bratwurst
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beer
- 3 cups milk
- 1 pinch truffle salt
- 1 pound medium pasta shells
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated smoked gruyere cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated smoked gouda
- Fill a large pan with about 3 inches of water and bring it to a boil on the stove. Boil the bratwurst for about 15 minutes to let them plump up and cook through. Remove them from the pan and drain the water, then get it back on the medium high heat. Sear the bratwurst for a couple of minutes in the hot pan to get some color on the outside. Then set them aside on a cutting board. Start on the cheese sauce. The base is a yummy bechamel sauce!
- Combine the butter and flour in the hot pan and stir it together until it becomes a thick, golden roux. It should take no more than two minutes. Pour the beer in and let it bubble for about 30 seconds as you stir. Switch to a whisk and slowly pour the milk in as you whisk to get a smooth white sauce going. Season it with the pinch of salt. Let the sauce gently bubble and boil for about 15 minutes to thicken, whisking occasionally.
- While the sauce cooks, get a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta. Salt it generously. When it's boiling, cook the shells until tender for about 8-10 minutes. Take the cooked bratwurst and slice them into little rounds to make them bite sized.
- Once the bechamel sauce has cooked for 15 minutes, whisk in all of that grated cheese until it becomes a smooth, rich sauce. Stir in the sliced bratwurst as well and let the mixture bubble together for a minute. The pasta shells should be done at this point too. Drain them and pour them into the pan with the cheese sauce and bratwurst. Stir it all together well, then take the pan off of the heat. Serve immediately and enjoy!