Start to finish: 45 minutes (20 minutes active)
Serves: 6 to 8
This hearty, tangy dip from "You've Got it Made" (Harvard Common Press, $14.95) by Diane Phillips goes well with bread, tortilla chips, pretzels or sturdy crackers. This recipe can be made and refrigerated up to three days ahead.
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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped sweet onion
½ cup smoked sausage, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon or whole-grain mustard
8-ounce package cream cheese
12-ounce bottle dark beer
4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
6 drops hot pepper sauce
Lightly coat a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté for two minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the sausage and cook until cooked through, about eight to 10 minutes. Drain away and discard any fat.
Add the mustard, cream cheese and beer, then stir until the cream cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, a handful at a time, until it is all incorporated.
Stir in the hot sauce, then transfer to the prepared baking dish. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to three days.
When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the oven heats, let the dip sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Bake the dip for 20 to 25 minutes, or until bubbling. Serve warm.