From our Food & Drink Archives

Ale-Braised Cheese Dip With Caramelized Onions & Maple Bacon


2 medium yellow onions
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
2 cups (500 mL) grated Canadian cheddar cheese (or about 7 1⁄2 oz/225 g)
such as Black River Cheese’s old cheddar
1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
1 1⁄2 cups (375 mL) Beau’s Lug-tread Lagered Ale
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) white cheese curds,
finely chopped 4 smoked bacon slices, cooked and finely crumbled
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) pure Ontario maple syrup


  1. Peel onions and cut into 1⁄4-inch (5-mm) slices.
  2. Heat oil in a 9-inch (23-cm) cast iron or heavy-bottom skillet on medium heat; add onions, stir to coat in oil, and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are evenly browned and softened. In a large bowl, combine cheddar, flour and cayenne.
  3. Add ale and Dijon to onion in skillet, stirring to heat through. Stir half the cheese mixture gradually into the warmed ale; stir until cheese is melted but not boiling. Add remaining cheese mixture and cheese curds; continue stirring until melted, with a few visible chunks of curd remaining. Remove from heat. (Recipe can be prepared ahead to this point and reheated on the sturdy upper shelf of a preheated BBQ grill, stirring occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes or until just melted.)
  4. To serve, sprinkle top of cheese mixture in skillet with bacon and green onion; drizzle with maple syrup. Place hot skillet onto a large cutting board, along with thick slices of grainy bread, blanched asparagus, broccoli and sweet pepper strips for dipping.
Serves 8-10, but recipe halves easily


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