- 12 oz thick cut bacon
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup beer
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (8 oz) package shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz dry elbow pasta
1. Bring an 8 qt covered pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, add a handful of salt and pasta. Reduce heat to medium high and cook uncovered to al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile heat a large 12” skillet over medium-high. Cut bacon into bite size pieces and add to the skillet. Stir occasionally as needed. Cook until crisp.
3. Once bacon is cooked through, remove bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve 2 tbsp of bacon drippings and discard the rest.
4. Pour reserved bacon drippings back into the skillet over medium heat and add butter.
5. Once melted, add flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add spices, beer and chicken broth. Whisk to combine. Allow to come to boil for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally to help pick up the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add milk. Whisk to combine. Bring back to a bubble. Once you see the first few bubbles in the pan add cooked bacon, Worcestershire and cheese. Stir to combine.
6. Add pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Cook pasta in sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens and the pasta has a chance to absorb some of the sauce.
7. Pour into a casserole dish and serve.