- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup half and half
- ¾ cup full-bodied lager beer or stout, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 to 2 teaspoons tabasco sauce (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- 3 to 4 cups cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until a thick paste forms, about 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in half and half and beer until smooth. Increase heat to medium-high and allow mixture to simmer. Whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, cumin and chili flakes (if using). Continue cooking for 4 to 5 minutes until very thick.
- Remove saucepan from heat, or decrease heat to low. Stir in cheese, in portions. Make sure that each batch of cheese is completely melted before adding the next, to ensure a smooth texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm with vegetable sticks, toast points, pretzels, etc.
- If desired, 1 package of ranch-style dressing can be dissolved into the beer and added to the mixture. Adjust seasonings according to taste.
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