Make Ahead

Wisconsin Beer & Cheddar Dip - Two Ways

January 18, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Makes about 4 cups
Author Notes

I am from Wisconsin. When thinking of my home state, it's hard not to think about beer, brats, cheese, and the Packers. This is my homage to cheese heads everywhere! This dip has a cold and a hot variation depending on how you want to serve it. —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces bottle beer (strong ale preferred - I used Deschutes Jubelale)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 - 3 teaspoons prepared grated horseradish
  • 4 - 5 splashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 12 ounces extra sharp white cheddar, shredded (plus additional 4 oz for hot dip option)
  • 4 - 5 scallions white and green parts, thinly sliced, reserve some green for garnish
  1. Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat, then add the onions. Cook stirring occasionally until softened, then add the kosher salt. Continue cooking, scraping the bottom of the pan stirring occasionally until the onions are nicely caramelized. Add garlic and saute, stirring continuously for about a minute, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the beer, and raise the heat to medium - high. Cook until the beer and onion mixture is reduced to about 3/4 cup, then remove from heat and let cool for 5 or so minutes.
  2. Place onion mixture into the work bowl of your food processor, with the cutting blade attachment. Add the mustard, cayenne, pepper, horseradish, and Worcestershire. Pulse to combine into a coarse purée. Add sour cream and cheddar, then pulse to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Stir or pulse in scallions. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with reserved green scallion. Serve with crudités, pita chips, or bread sticks.
  3. Hot Option: Shred an additional 4 oz of extra sharp cheddar. Mix about 3/4 of the cheese with 1 tablespoon corn starch, then stir into the dip mixture. Transfer to a 1 & 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish, then sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400º F until edges are nicely brown and bubbling, and cheese on top is melted approximately 14 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved green onion. Serve fondue style with crusty bread, bread sticks, blanched cauliflower, or for a very Wisconsin experience some sliced cooked bratwurst.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Table9
  • mrslarkin
  • ichibanbrianne
  • emily_wendt
  • Lizthechef
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

31 Reviews

Table9 February 16, 2011
You beat me to it...I wanted to do a German Beer and Cheese Fondue. Good luck, this is a great recipe!
hardlikearmour February 16, 2011
Thanks, Table9. You always throw down great recipes; you should still do yours! I added this for the best dip recipe, and the hot version works as a fondue.
mrslarkin February 11, 2011
hardlikearmour February 11, 2011
Great idea, mrslarkin. I will tweak the recipe a bit for fondue & get it entered sometime this week. Thanks for the heads-up!
ichibanbrianne February 6, 2011
Just whipped up a batch in honor of my family who are new Wisconsinites for today's festivities. I wanted to add that after the beer is reduced, the quantity will never be about half a cup because the onions have started to break down. For my tastes, the dip tasted better with about half the cheddar, but I'm not a fromagophile and I know many people -especially men- are. I also used slightly more horseradish and cayenne because the mouthfeel from the cheddar I think prevented some of the sharper notes. Anyhow, it's nice to be festive. I hope everyone likes it!
hardlikearmour February 6, 2011
Thanks for the input! Hope your football fans enjoy. I'm a big cheese lover, and the sharper the better for me, but I'm glad you tweaked to your preference. I didn't mean to include the onions in the volume of reduced beer, just the beer portion, but I did just guestimate when I made it so maybe it was more like 2/3 to 3/4 cup.
emily_wendt January 24, 2011
While I am born and raised in Pittsburgh and rooting for my Steelers all the way, your dip does look good. :)
hardlikearmour January 25, 2011
I guess we will be rivals on Superbowl Sunday! May the best team win.
Lizthechef January 23, 2011
21-14 Packers are in the Super Bowl! I hate football but love Wisconsin - does that make sense? Your dip surely does ;)
Lizthechef January 23, 2011
ps Thumbs up!
hardlikearmour January 23, 2011
Thanks, Liz. I'm not a huge football fan, but do have a soft spot for the Packers. Go Pack!
lastnightsdinner January 22, 2011
You've got all the flavors here that I love. Perfect football fare.
lastnightsdinner January 22, 2011
You've got all the flavors here that I love. Perfect football fare.
hardlikearmour January 22, 2011
Thanks. You have so many amazing recipes, you could write your own cookbook!
Lizthechef January 21, 2011
I'm married to a cheesehead and Badger alum - missed this is the huge number of recipes that were submitted. Looks like Super Bowl snacking to me...Always enjoy your recipes!
hardlikearmour January 21, 2011
Thanks so much! My husband and I are both cheeseheads, and I am a Badger alum. (Hubby went to Marquette.)
Midge January 23, 2011
Hey I went to Marquette too, which may explains why your recipe caught my eye. Making it as I type this. When did your husband graduate?
hardlikearmour January 23, 2011
He graduated in '91 with a BS in Math.
hardlikearmour January 23, 2011
PS. let me know how you like it. :)
Midge January 24, 2011
I was a couple years ahead and in journalism school. Your dip was a huge hit in our house. I used cheddar and beer from Vermont, but it definitely brought me back to Wisconsin (especially when I reduced the beer which made my kitchen actually smell like Milwaukee used to smell before the breweries left).
hardlikearmour January 24, 2011
I'm really glad you liked it!
mrslarkin January 19, 2011
Mmmmmm.... Making this for my cheese head family on Sunday. Go Packers! :)
hardlikearmour January 20, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin! Let me know if you like it (or if you don't.) I've got my fingers crossed for the Pack!
mrslarkin January 24, 2011
oh my goodness, is this good! munching on leftovers for lunch today. dunking some Wave Hill Just Crusts. Really really good. I used Ommegang Adoration Special Winter Ale and Cabot aged cheddar. Thanks for a great recipe, HLA!
hardlikearmour January 24, 2011
Thanks, mrslarkin! It makes me happy when other people like something I've made.
thirschfeld January 19, 2011
love love love beer cheese
hardlikearmour January 19, 2011
Me too! It's kinda a requirement if you're from WI.
vegetarianirvana January 19, 2011
sounds yummy.
hardlikearmour January 19, 2011
Thanks, vn. It's not healthy, but it is yummy!
Midge January 18, 2011
Oh yum. Might have to make this for the Packers game this wkd.
hardlikearmour January 18, 2011
Thanks, Midge. Let me know if you try it :)