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Kuhlman Cellars

Alpen Mac

Alpen Mac
Recipe Date:
May 14, 2020
Serving Size:
Cook Time:
Imperial (US)
The best of Mac and Cheese, Swiss-style. When Michael and I lived in Germany we spent weekends skiing in the Swiss Alps during the winter. One little train station in Kleine Schidegg had the best Alpine Macaronen served with a scoop of home made apple sauce. I could only have it if I skied all day long as a reward. This creamy cheesy masterpiece pairs amazingly with our bigger reds and heavier whites. Try it with Zin, Barranca and Alluve for an evening cheese-fest. Heavier whites work as well because the acidity cuts the fat. This is Mac and Cheese to the max.
  • 1 lb Tubular Pasta ie. Penne or Macaroni
  • 1 lb Yellow Waxy Potatoes cut into 3/4" squares
  • 2 tbsps Salt
  • 1/4 lb Thick cut bacon sliced into small pieces
  • 4 tbsps Butter
  • 2 Small sweet onions thinly sliced and divided
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup White Wine. I use Calcaria
  • 3 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Cream (optional, only if you want extra creamy)
  • 6 ozs Gruyere Cheese Shredded
  • 4 ozs Emmentaler Cheese Shredded
  • 3 ozs Comte Cheese Shredded (Can substitute Parmesan)
  • 1 tbsp Coarse Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be just underdone, Pasta very al dente. Reserve 1/2c of cooking water. Drain and set aside.

As the pasta is cooking, in a large family skillet or dutch oven, fry diced bacon until crisp. Set aside ¼ of the bacon on a paper towel for toppings. Add butter, melt and add ¾ of the onions (save some to fry later!), and garlic. Sauté until the onions start to caramelize. Turn the stove down to medium to medium low, Scoot the onions and garlic to edges of the pan and add flour to the middle, stir, don’t panic if it sticks a bit. Stir in onions and cook for 2 minutes while continuously stirring. Add wine to deglaze the pan. Turn heat to low. A thick sauce will start to form. Add milk and cream and reserved pasta water and slowly stir in the shredded cheeses. Until thick and creamy. Thin as needed with additional milk or chicken stock. Keep it over low heat. If the temp is too high the sauce will break and become grainy. Add mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.

Gently stir sauce into pasta.


Yummy toppings

1. Fried onions - Take your leftover onions and dredge them in flour, fry over high heat in a small saucepan until crispy

2. Reserved bacon

3. Applesauce seems weird but tastes amazing. This is how they do it in the alps. 


Try this paired with our Rousenne or Viognier. The heavier body of the white stands up to this heavy pasta. The acidity cuts through the fat and cleanses your palate for a fresh bite. Also, a winner is some of our bigger reds. The tannins and fat are a perfect match. Watch your saltiness, bacon, and cheese can be salty so try with Merlot. If it is less salty it will work great with Barranca and even Kankar