For the Beer Cheese:
1 (10.5-ounce) can cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Guinness beer
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, diced; optional
For the Irish Nachos:
4 large potatoes (Russett, Idaho, or Gold)
2/3 cup peanut oil, for frying
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup beer cheese
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup green salsa
2 medium scallions, chopped
1/4 cup torn cilantro leaves, optional
Directions for Beer Cheese:
In a medium bowl, stir together the canned cheddar cheese and Guinness. Add the garlic and jalapeño. Mix well and set aside.
Directions for Irish Nachos
Wash the potatoes. Remove the eyes and any blemishes. Cut each potato into 1/4-inch thick slices and place into an ice-water bath. In a 3-quart saucepan, add 1 to 2 inches of peanut oil—do not fill it more than halfway. Heat the oil to 350 F. Drain the potatoes and pat with a lint-free kitchen towel or paper towel until completely dry. Any remaining water will cause the oil to splatter. Place the potatoes into the hot oil, working in batches. Deep-fry until golden brown and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. As they finish cooking, remove the potatoes from the hot oil using tongs or a heat-safe slotted spoon or spider strainer. Place onto a plate with paper towels to drain. Mix together the rosemary, thyme, and salt. If using whole leaf herbs, crush them in a mortar and pestle along with the salt. On a round pan, place the fried potatoes in a single layer with the edges overlapping, then sprinkle with the herb-salt mixture. Drizzle with the beer cheese and add the crumbled bacon. Finish the nachos off with sour cream and green salsa. Sprinkle with chopped scallion and cilantro. Serve and enjoy.
Don’t add more beer or heat the cheese sauce as both will cause it to become too runny.
Make this dish as close to serving it as possible to avoid soggy potatoes. You can prepare everything in advance (the potatoes no more than one hour early, kept warm in the oven), but don’t assemble until you’re ready to eat.