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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 05:24 pm

The original Leland Hotel horseshoe sauce


Wables was right: the secret to good horseshoe sauce is good cheddar. Use at least sharp cheddar; I prefer extra-sharp. The original specifies Kraft’s Old English Cheddar. Apparently it’s still produced, but I’ve never been able to find it. Do NOT use pre-grated cheese; it’s coated with a substance that keeps the shreds separate, which isn’t harmful, but keeps pre-grated cheese from completely melting into sauces.

Using good beer is also essential for great horseshoe sauce. I have no idea what kind of beer was used in Schweska’s original, although I’m sure the sauce was tastier once he could use real beer. I use an English ale such as Bass, or English-style IPA for maximum flavor and because of the sauce’s Welsh rarebit connection.

This sauce is so delicious it’s tempting to eating spoonfuls right from the pan. I also use it as a base for cheese soup, macaroni and cheese and more. 

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 c. whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
  • 3/4 c. beer, at room temperature
Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to combine. Cook for a couple minutes so the flour loses its raw taste.

Whisk in the milk, salt, mustard and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is quite thick.

Remove the saucepan from the stove. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the cheese, and stir until the cheese is completely melted .

Whisk in the beer, and return the saucepan to the stove. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce comes just to a bare simmer. Do not let it boil.

Makes approximately 1 quart.
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