We absolutely love cheese at The Drunken Goat and the thought of pairing it with beer makes us all sorts of excited. Here is a magical recipe that mixes the two to give you a wonderful starter for any beery menu that even Gambrinus himself would be proud of. We used a Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale with this, the malty nuttiness mixing excellently with the sharp creamy cheese. Another good mix would be a dunkel style beer. Obviously for the vegetarians out there use a veggie cheese, stock and omit the bacon, it’s still as tasty!
- 2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), cut into ¼” dice
- 2 medium carrots, cut into ¼” dice
- 2 celery sticks, cut into ¼” dice
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 1 Bay leaf
- 60g unsalted butter
- 40g plain flour
- 500ml whole milk
- 425ml chicken/vegetable stock
- 1 330ml bottle brown ale (Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 450g Cheddar (get a good strong one), grated
- 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (ignore for veggie option)
- Wash leeks in a bowl of cold water, drain in a colander.
- Sweat off the leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaf with some butter in a large heavy saucepan over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to moderately low and sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook it out, stirring occasionally, for roughly 3 minutes.
- Add the milk in a constant stream, whisking all the time. Once it is all incorporated add in the beer and then the stock until you get to a good soup-like consistency. Don’t be afraid to leave some of the stock out if it reaches the right thickness before you have added all the stock. Leave it to one side if so just in case you need it later after you add the cheese.
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Add cheese in handfuls, stirring constantly, and cook until cheese is melted, 3 to 4 minutes (do not boil). Remove the bay leaf. Here check the consistency and add more stock if needs be to reach your favoured soup consistency, don’t have it too thin though!
- Serve sprinkled with bacon and maybe some crusty buttered fresh (beer) bread.