Beer Cheese Sauce
Cheese sauce should go all over everything. I am aware that this is not a world shaking statement and everyone is probably like uh yeah, duh. But I made my first cheese sauce on Monday for a celebratory brunch and now I’m hooked. The brunch was in honor of last year’s winner of the Sunday Night Dinner League, one of the fantasy football league in which I participate. The prize for winning a season is choosing an ingredient for a multi-course meal my co-commissioner Mike and I cook. This year our winner, Lauren, chose beer as her ingredient. Beer and cheese is such a classic combination, that cheese was definitely going to make an appearance. In the fourth course, it was cheese sauce topping a pretzel waffle cone filled with a couple chorizo meatballs. Later that day, I poured it over a piece of toast. The next morning, I dumped it all over my breakfast sandwich. That night, I dipped carrots for a “healthy snack”. Finally, I just said screw it and ate it with a spoon.
While I had never made a cheese sauce before, I knew what I wanted in the recipe – real cheese because I’ve got the good stuff in front of me every day, one that didn’t depend on the magical melting powers of Velveeta, and I wanted it to be rich and thick and not at all calorie or cholesterol conscious. I found just the right one in a recipe by Trisha Yearwood called Butter Burger with Beer Cheese Sauce and Bacon. Oof, certainly not calorie or cholesterol conscious, thus it was perfect! I did cut out some cream, but only because I wanted the cheese and beer flavors to be central. I used Kaltbach le Cremeux, a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland and one of our best melters. It basically dissolves in your mouth when you eat a slice, so I knew it would create a great cheese sauce texture. I also used Ford Farm Cheddar from England which is sweet, sharp, and as wonderful for cooking as it is just eating straight. For the beer, I used the flavorful but light-ish Cerveza from True North which added a nice yeasty quality and a brightness to the sauce. And la la la put in a few more things in and, BANG a new love was born. I will try not to make it too often since I don’t want my heart to stop, but I want it. On everything. Right friggin’ NOW!
For the love of cheese and CHEESE SAUCE,
P.S. - Here is the recipe I used. I cut out about ¾ cup cream and used the cheeses above. I also cooked the roux for longer because I like a nice toasty flavor on the flour. I makes about four cups which sounds like an unnecessary amount, but it was a fully necessary amount.