Bratwurst and Beer Mac and Cheese

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!

The bratwurst links were just boiled to plump them up and heat them through for about 15 minutes.
The bratwurst links were just boiled to plump them up and cook them through for about 15 minutes. Then I drained the water and seared them in the dry pan for just a couple of minutes to develop some color on the outside. As my idol Anne Burrell always says, brown food tastes good!
Then I removed the sausages and start on the cheese sauce for the bratwurst and beer mac and cheese. The base was a basic bechamel sauce! I let it cook and thicken for another 15 minutes.
Then I started on the cheese sauce for the bratwurst and beer mac and cheese. The base was a basic bechamel sauce! I let it cook and thicken for another 15 minutes.

Once the bechamel sauce was done cooking, everything came together quickly!

I used an incredible combination of aged cheddar, gruyere and smoked gouda for the cheeses. Oh my goodness, they made the bratwurst and beer mac and cheese so flavorful and luscious!
I used an incredible combination of aged cheddar, smoked gruyere and smoked gouda for the cheeses. Oh my goodness, they made the bratwurst and beer mac and cheese so flavorful and luscious! They were just whisked in to the bechamel sauce until smooth.

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.

I just stirred the bratwurst and cooked pasta shells in with the cheese sauce. That was all there was to the bratwurst and beer mac and cheese!
I just stirred the bratwurst and cooked pasta shells in with the cheese sauce to finish it up. That was all there was to the bratwurst and beer mac and cheese!

Let me tell you, this bratwurst and beer mac and cheese 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

Bratwurst and Beer Mac and Cheese
Bratwurst and Beer Mac and Cheese
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Bratwurst and Beer Mac and Cheese
Bratwurst and Beer Mac and Cheese
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

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