We were driving by Boyden Valley Farm and decided to stop in for a tour. They had a lot of new wines since our last sampling at a wine event. We tasted some old favorites (like the Cranberry!) but also had to try some of their new ciders on the menu. One of the ciders had an incredible smoked flavor that made me think immediately “cheese!”.
Introducing the Double Bourbon Cider. Not online yet but here is the tasting menu description: “Dry with a well-rounded warmth, this hard cider is aged in French Oak and American Oak bourbon barrels giving it a complex and caramelized bourbon flavor with a hint of smoke.” (Also a good description for cheese.)
I live for cheese so this had to come home with me and I had to have it with macaroni and cheese. I used a Shelburne Farms aged cheddar but my mind was whizzing about thinking of different varieties of cheese I wanted to try this with. Imagine this with an aged, smoked, bacon cheddar?! Sugarbush Farms has an incredible one and Cabot has some great smoked choices.
Of course I’ll share my Mac’n’Cheese recipe!
16-20 ounces of elbow macaroni (medium shells are also a fine choice)
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp ground mustard dissolved in about a tablespoon of water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups milk (or 1 cup milk and 1 cup half&half)
2 cups shredded Shelburne Farmhouse Cheddar 2-Year
- Cook macaroni according to package directions.
- In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat; stir in flour, salt and pepper
- Remove from heat and slowly add milk whisking constantly. Place back on burner on medium-low heat.
- Cook and stir until bubbles start to form at the edge of the pan and the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Stir in cheese until melted; add mustard.
- Drain macaroni; add to cheese sauce; stir to coat.
If you get a chance to visit Boyden Valley, I highly recommend it. Take a tour of the cellar (literally the basement) and watch the Boyden family hard at work. They have a beautiful tasting room and shop where you can order a glass or partake in a 7 variety tasting. After a tasting and/or tour, relax on the outdoor patio to indulge in a cheese plate complimenting your wine while you enjoy your front row seat to “Made in Vermont”.