BEER MAC'n'CHEESE WITH KALE
I don't often embrace vegetarian recipes, but when you can add beer and lots of cheese, it almost makes me forget about the lack of meat, Almost I can't help but think that this dish would be better with some crispy smoked bacon, however the crispy kale offers an vegetarian option and is great for one of my meat free days.
- 350g Macaroni
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
- 2 Garlic Cloves (Finely Chopped)
- 300ml Beer (I Use Hoegaarden or Corona)
- 750ml Milk
- 50g Plain Flour
- 50g Unsalted Butter
- 150g Mature Cheddar (Grated)
- 150g Mozzarella (Grated/ Shredded)
- 200g Kale (Leaves Trimmed, Stalks Removed)
- 1 Tbsp Caster Sugar
Method: (Crispy Kale)
- Preheat the oven to 180c/ gas mark 4.
- Toss with the caster sugar and 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
- Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Kale does not need to be in a single layer, as it will shrink in volume as it cooks. Bake, stirring every five minutes or so, until leaves are tender, crisp on edges and slightly browned roughly 15-20 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium heat, then add the garlic and mustard and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute.
- Gradually add the milk a bit at a time, waiting for the mixture to thicken before adding anymore. Once all the milk has been incorporated add the nutmeg and stir to combine.
- Add the beer and turn the heat up to a medium high/ rolling boil to cook off the alcohol and allow the sauce to thicken. Usually 8-10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to a low simmer and add 100g cheddar and all the mozzarella. Cook until all of the cheese has melted. Taste and season if needed.
- Preheat to grill to high.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the pasta for 3 minutes less than the recommended time on the packet.
- Add 150g of the trimmed kale, pasta and cheese sauce to a large overproof dish and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 50g of cheddar cheese. Place under the grill for 8-10 minutes or under the cheese has melted and turned golden brown.
- Serve immediately with the crispy baked kale.