This Ale, Bacon and Cheddar dip was inspired by my mother’s home state of Wisconsin, and the football team that I love. It’s perfect for entertaining on any given Sunday with family or friends. The dip is best served hot, and I recommend using a fondue pot or small cast iron caldron. Lodge makes the little cast iron caldron I used in the picture above. I love it because it stays hot for a long time without a heating element, which is perfect when children are around. The company was founded in Tennessee over 100 years ago and they’re still making the best skillets, Dutch ovens and griddles you can buy. Serve this dip with tortilla or pretzel chips.
Active Time: 30 minutes
Makes about 4 cups
1½ lb thick cut applewood smoked bacon
2 cups sweet onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 bottle amber ale – I like to use Boont Amber Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
½ cup whole milk
4 oz cream cheese, softened
4 oz finely shredded (about 2 ½ cups) sharp cheddar
4 oz finely shredded (about 2 ½ cups) aged extra sharp cheddar
1 scallion, light and dark green parts only, finely chopped
Cut bacon into ¼-inch strips. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bacon until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet. Turn the heat to medium and add the onions. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring, until flour has coated onions and is lightly golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add one bottle of ale slowly, whisking as you pour to avoid lumps. Cook until mixture has thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the milk, and then cream cheese, whisking until smooth after each addition. Turn the heat to low and fold in the shredded cheese, stirring until melted. Gently fold in bacon, reserving about ¼ cup for garnish.
Transfer the dip to a small fondue pot or little cast iron cauldron. Top with remaining bacon and chopped scallions.
Serve with tortilla or pretzel chips.