Beth and Courtney Hodge's mom, Bonnie, is Irish and potatoes are one of her favorite ingredients. This recipe features another famous Irish pleasure, dark beer, which infuses deep flavor into the cheddar sauce, a trick the Hodges learned through a macaroni and cheese recipe that has become a family signature.
- 2 pounds (about 2 large) Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons Cabot Unsalted Butter
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dark beer, such as stout or porter
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated and divided (about 2 cups)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat and add sliced potatoes. Stir to separate, reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes at a simmer for about 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease a 3-quart baking dish.
- Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in flour and salt and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes until flour is golden. Whisk in beer and increase heat to bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in milk and cook 3 to 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 11/2 cups grated cheese. Add pepper and more salt to taste.
- Layer potatoes in prepared baking dish. Pour cheese sauce evenly over potatoes. Top evenly with remaining 1/2 cup grated cheese. Bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.