The Buckner Brothers are fan favorites at Harpoon BBQ Fest. Not only are they hilarious, but they whip up some darn good BBQ! This year they were crowned the 2017 Sizzling Champs, so we asked them to share one of their favorite Harpoon inspired recipes for folks to enjoy at home. And spoiler alert: it’s amazing!
Buckner Brothers - Bacon Jalapeno IPA Mac & Cheese:
1 lb dried pasta (cavatappi is a wise choice)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups whole milk
1 six-pack of Harpoon IPA
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ dry mustard
½ tsp nutmeg
6-8 jalapeno peppers
1 lb bacon
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1. Open Harpoon IPA. Take a deep breath and appreciate its hoppy aroma. Take a sip. Close your eyes. Revel in the majesty that you have just imbibed. It’s time to cook.
2. Preheat oven to 350*
3. Cut your bacon into strips (about the width of your finger. Note: Do NOT cut your finger measuring your bacon width. It was just a suggestion. Be smart). Cook said bacon until desired crispness. Set aside.
4. While bacon is cooking, it’s time to cut the jalapenos. If you have disposable gloves (nitrile, latex, etc), it would be in your best interest to wear them NOW. If not, wash your hands thoroughly once done cutting them. Cut the stems off each jalapeno and slice lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds and membranes out of each jalapeno. Once the jalapenos have been deseeded and demembraned, take a sip of Harpoon IPA. You’ve earned it. Cut each remaining half-jalapeno in half again (that’s quarters for you math fans #fractions). Proceed to cut those quarters into ½ inch pieces (about the size of a fingernail, which again, should NOT be used to compare when cutting jalapenos. It’s a guideline. You’ve been drinking. Be smart. You’re going to be high-fiving everyone after you make this dish. Nobody is going to high-five you if you’ve chopped off a fingertip measuring jalapeno cuts. NOBODY.)
5. Once your bacon is done cooking, remove and set aside. But DON’T throw away that bacon grease! Fat is flavor. Saute the jalapenos in the bacon grease for approximately 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Take another sip of Harpoon IPA.
6. Time to make the cheese sauce. Dump the grease, but reuse the same pan. On medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk together until brown (approximately 2-3 minutes). Add the milk and whisk until all the lumps are gone. Take another sip of Harpoon IPA. You probably need to get another one at this point. That’s ok. I’m not judging you.
7. While that is warming up, it’s time to get that pasta going. (pssst! Salt that water your pasta is going into. Trust me)
8. While the pasta is cooking, take another sip of delicious Harpoon IPA. If you are flexible enough, pat yourself on the back. You’re almost there, and you’re doing a great job.
9. Once the milk mixture starts to bubble, add 8 oz of Harpoon beer and the cheese. Stir to mix so cheese melts. Add salt, pepper, dry mustard, and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow cheese to melt. Sauce to thick? Add more beer. Sauce to thin? Be patient and sip on your Harpoon IPA. Once the cheese is completely melted, give it a taste. Pretty good, huh? Need more salt? Go for it. More pepper? Why not. It’s YOUR dinner.
10. Once your pasta is al dente, drain and return to the pot it was cooked in. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and mix. Add bacon and jalapenos and mix again.
11. Pour entire mixture into a greased 13x9 pan. Top with cheese if you’d like. Top with breadcrumbs or panko if that makes you giddy. Place into oven for 20-25 minutes.
12. Grab another Harpoon from the fridge and enjoy while the aromas of success begin to fill the air.
13. Remove from oven. Take pictures and post to social media (#HarpoonIPA #Cookinglikeachamp #lovemycarbs)
14. Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. Invite friends over to try your delicious creation. Have them bring more Harpoon.