Brown Ale, Sweet Potato and Fontina Cheese Gratin

Serves 12

2 bottles Brown Ale beer (12 ounces each)
4 sprigs thyme
1 shallot, quartered
1 bay leaf
4 pounds sweet potatoes, sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 small cloves garlic, crushed through press
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup sliced chives
1 ½ cups shredded Fontina cheese

In large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil Brown Ale beer, thyme sprigs, shallot and bay leaf. Stir frequently to dissipate carbonation in beer. Add 1/3 of the sweet potato slices and poach for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining potato slices, poaching in two batches.
Boil beer liquid 3-4 minutes, or until reduced to 3/4 cup. Remove from heat. Strain out solids. In medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream, flour and garlic until blended; stir into the beer reduction. Stir in salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Layer 1/3 of the sweet potatoes in the dish; season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and then 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sprinkle 1/3 of chives and 1/2 cup of cheese on top. Repeat with two more layers. Pour cream and ale mixture on top. Place in pre-heated oven and bake 45-50 minutes, until potatoes are tender when pierced with knife and a golden crust has formed on top. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
240 calories; 12 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 26 g carbohydrate

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