Bacon Cheddar Beer Potatoes Au Gratin

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground chile de arbol (can substitute cayenne pepper, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup beer, Belgian style wheat beer (Blue Moon)
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth*
8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
24 ounces bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
3 pounds red potatoes, sliced thin

Move rack to center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Add flour and whisk; allow flour to cook for 2-3 minutes to cook out the ‘floury’ taste.  Add garlic, chile, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Whisk to combine.

Slowly add beer, chicken, and, half-and-half.  Whisk until there are no lumps.  Add cheese and whisk constantly until you have a smooth mixture.  Add milk and Worcestershire.  Reduce heat to low.

Butter a 3 quart casserole dish.  Layer potatoes in casserole dish, topping each layer with about ½ cup of cheese sauce.  Halfway through add half of chopped bacon on top of cheese layer.  Continue layering cheese sauce and potatoes.  Reserve the remaining bacon.

Bake for 70-90 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Top with remaining bacon for the last 10 minutes of cook time.  Allow potatoes to rest for 20 minutes before serving to thicken up.  Serve and enjoy!

*If you do not have chicken broth, you can heat ½ cup water and ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon to substitute.

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2012 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.