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Cheddar and Irish Beer Fondue

Cheddar and Irish Beer Fondue

Cheddar Beer Fondue |

I’ve been itching to break out our fondue pot all winter. So for this month’s vintage recipe post, I thought it would be fun adapt the cheesy 70’s party food to include some Irish beer…just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I picked up some fennel, pears and ‘Irish’ potatoes to pair with the Irish Cheddar fondue. Wanting to make the fondue a little lower in fat (and higher in protein,) I also shopped for Cabot Sharp Light cheese. (Cabot is one lower-fat cheese that I’ve found melts well.)

So yesterday in the kitchen, my 5 year old was grating Cheddar (carefully!) using the box grater and the 2 year old was cutting chunks of bread (unevenly!) And I ran down to the basement to grab the Irish Harp I was pretty sure we had on hand.

But we did not. Only Heineken.

Not all was lost…this is STILL an Irish fondue! Check out this unreliable stat from Wikipedia: “Heineken Ireland, based at the Murphy Brewery in Cork, has the largest share of the lager market.[citation needed]” I guess the Irish actually drink a lot of Heinekan!

Cheddar & Irish Beer Fondue |

Now, since fondue is not an every-day food (as proof, the fondue we received as a wedding present has been used less than once a year for the last 13 years!) I am not an expert at assembling the dipping accompaniments…and I forgot the pears in these photos. But please don’t forget them yourself. When I tried them with the fondue after the sun went down (and my natural-light photography window expired) pears + ‘Irish’ Cheddar and Beer Fondue were simply delicious.

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Cheddar and Beer Fondue

  • Author: Serena Ball, MS, RD


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 cup Irish lager beer
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 ounces light Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 ounces Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Pinch grated nutmeg
  • Accompaniments: Fennel (blanched for 1.5 minutes in boiling water,) pears, crusty bread, radishes, cooked potatoes


  1. In a small bowl, mix together water and cornstarch with a fork.
  2. In saucepan, add cornstarch mixture and beer; whisk until smooth. Add garlic and bay leaves. Place on heat and bring to simmer. Continue whisking for 1 minute until thick. Remove from heat.
  3. Add cheese and whisk just until cheese is melted and smooth. Discard bay leaf and transfer mixture to fondue pot or place saucepan on warming tray. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
  4. Serve with accompaniments.

The above recipe adapted from this yummy Cabot recipe.

Do you fondue?


Thursday 27th of April 2017

I"m reading through this recipe, and thinking about making it, but it doesn't make sense. One cup of liquid to three cups of grated cheese? It's hard to believe that proportion is correct. Also what is the 1-1/2 TB of cold water for? It seems like this is a recipe that someone wrote but never actually made, so I'm hesitant to try it.

Serena Ball

Friday 28th of April 2017

I assure you this is legit Lisa! And lusciously delish too! The beer plus cornstarch turns into a thick liquid that is warm. Once you add the cheese, you really don't want to cook it, or the cheesy liquid will separate. Just whisk the cheese into the warm liquid until everything is melted then dip and enjoy!

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