Here at Druthers Brewing Company, we produce large quantities of our famous Mac & Cheese daily in each of our three locations: Saratoga Springs, Albany and Schenectady. We’re talking close to 600 gallons of cheese sauce and 1000 pounds of fresh pasta per week! Don’t be intimidated, though: We’ve slightly modified the recipe to better suit the everyday home cook.
Always remember, a recipe is merely a guideline; it’s up to you, the cook, to prepare it how you like it. Sauce too thick? Add a little more milk. Don’t care for gouda cheese? Simply leave it out. The more you cook for yourself and others, the more confident you’ll become in your own kitchen. We sincerely hope you enjoy trying this recipe as much as we enjoy preparing it for you at our restaurants. —Peter Hahm, Chef, Druthers Brewing Company
Chef, Druthers Brewing Company
1/2 gallon Whole milk
2 oz. Blue cheese
3/4 lb. Cheddar
2 oz. American cheese
3 oz. Smoked gouda
1 oz. Fontina
3 oz. Parmesan
1/4 lb. Swiss
1/4 lb. Havarti
3/4 c. Melted butter, unsalted
3/4 c. All-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Tabasco hot sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Kosher salt (preferably not table salt)
Your favorite pasta shells, either home-made or store bought
Panko breadcrumbs, for topping
Start by heating milk over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer. In a separate pot, combine melted butter with flour to create a roux (thickener). Cook the roux over low heat until smooth and no longer lumpy—like a looser peanut butter.
Once the milk starts to boil, turn the heat to low and slowly whisk in the roux. Continue to stir until the entire mixture has dissolved into the milk. Keep cooking slowly until the milk has thickened (this is called a béchamel).
While that’s cooking, shred or finely chop all of the cheeses. It’s OK if you don’t want to use all of them; add more of what you do like, so the ratio stays the same. In batches, fold in the cheeses until fully melted and incorporated. Season with Kosher salt, Tabasco and just a little bit of soy sauce (optional).
At Druthers restaurants, we make our own pasta shapes, but feel free to cook your favorite pasta according to package directions. You’re looking for al dente or a slight bite, as the pasta will cook further in the oven.
Mix cooked pasta with sauce and place into a greased casserole dish or other oven-proof pan. Top with breadcrumbs and bake uncovered in a 325-degree oven until bubbly and golden brown on top, about 5 minutes or so. Let cool slightly and enjoy!