Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday season!
It’s been almost two months since we went to Disney, and I am STILL thinking about that Smoked Corned Beef from Disney’s Food and Wine festival. Whenever I have a delicious dish at Disney, my brain immediately started trying to figure out how to make it at home. Even before we got on the plane back to Chicago, I KNEW I had to figure out how to replicate it at home. Additionally, I knew I was going to be in for a challenge.
Corned beef is not very easy to find unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I was not about to wait around for months until that holiday rolled around. If you CAN find Corned Beef, it’s usually extremely expensive – a corned beef brisket on Amazon runs at $55 for 3lbs! I love y’all, but I was not about to drop that much money on making one meal for Chris and myself for the sake of a blog post!
I knew I was going to have to get creative to capture the flavors I wanted. Not only that, but this was going to call for TWO different recipes – one for the beer cheese sauce that goes on the dish, and one for the dish itself. What I came up with isn’t served in a cute cardboard boat, and it’s not served in the middle of a theme park – but when it comes to flavor, I think I did alright!
Read on for my recipe on how to make beer cheese at home, as well as the copycat smoked corned beef dish from the 2019 Food and Wine festival!
Ingredients and Equipment
- 1/2 pound of corned beef. I ended up going to Target and getting sliced deli corned beef as I couldn’t find a brisket ANYWHERE. I looked all over our local grocery stores and this was literally all I could find. It gets the job done, though, don’t get me wrong!
- 1 package sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Garlic powder
- 2 bottles of beer – I chose a white beer from a local brewery, Two Brothers, because it has a rich flavor and stands out perfectly in the dip
- Heavy whipping cream
- An instant pot with steamer basket
- Kettle chips
- Optional – onion powder, pickled onions, cheese curds and chives. As I am not a huge fan of pickled onions, I left these bits out of my original recipe. However, these are all included in the dish itself from EPCOT so if you’re looking for a true authentic copy cat dish, go with this one! Additionally, I could not find cheese curds ANYWHERE. Target kept saying they had them in stock and every time I went to the store I was disappointed. To make up for the absence of the curds, I used more cheese suace!
- Also optional – flour (see the beer cheese recipe for more info)
First things first – the main ingredient in this dish is a white cheddar beer cheese sauce. This is what brings out the rich flavor of the corned beef and adds the right amount of kick to the dish. I knew I wanted a very rich flavor, so I gathered my ingredients and found a beer that I found was rather heavy and flavorful – perfect for a recipe like this.
In a saucepan, add 1 bottle of beer and 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add the WHOLE packet (yes, the WHOLE packet) of white cheddar cheese to the mixture, adding small amounts and then stirring with a whisk until fully melted before adding another bit. Once the whole bag has been added and is melted, add the 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Take off heat and let it cool, and it should start to thicken up as well. If you want it even thicker, add about 1/4 cup of flour and whisk in to make it thicker.
That’s it! I hope you all like cheese sauce because this recipe makes a LOT. If you have a bunch left over from the main dish, save it for more dishes, like soft pretzels or as an appetizer dip!
Flavors from Fire Beer Cheese Recipe
- 1 packet Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- 1 bottle beer
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup flour optional if not thickening to your desire
- Add the beer and heavy whipping cream to a sauce pan and bring to a boil
- Once boiling, add the whole packet of white cheddar to the dish in small intervals (no larger than 1/4 cup at a time) Stir after each addition with the whisk
- Once all white cheddar is added, add the sharp cheddar cheese and whisk until fully mixed in
- Remove from heat and allow to thicken and cool. If not thick enough, add flour and whisk to help achieve desired thickness
Now onto the meat of the dish! For this, I used my instant pot to cook the deli corned beef I picked up in order to get the perfect type of crispiness I wanted. Plus, I love any excuse I have to get my instant pot out!
This was super easy – simply cook the corned beef in beer and viola! You’re done! In order to cook it appropriately, you’ll also need a vegetable steamer. The one Chris and I had prior to getting an instant pot fits perfectly in our pot, but there are also various steamers built specifically for instant pots.
Instead of water, use the beer to cook the corned beef. Pour 3/4 – 1 bottle of beer in to the instant pot and then put the corned beef in the steamer. Additionally, I added a few dashes of garlic powder to the beer.
Naturally, the pressure cooker is going to need more time to adequately cook meat as opposed to other types of food, like pasta. Set the cooker to Pressure Cook and set the time to 1 hour, 30 minutes. It’ll take a few minutes to heat up, so simply set it and forget it!
Once cooked, the corned beef literally falls apart. It’s not a shredded brisket like the original dish, but still delicious! Drain the remainder of the beer from the instant pot and set the beef aside.
EPCOT Smoked Corned Beef
- Pressure Cooker
- Vegetable Steamer
- 1/2 pound corned beef
- 1 bag kettle chips
- 1 bottle beer
- Add the corned beef to the pressure cooker along with 3/4 - 1 bottle of beer
- Set pressure cooker to "Pressure Cook" setting and cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Allow pressure to release or use quick release feature
- Drain remaining beer from the instant pot and put cooked corn beef on kettle chips. Pour cheese sauce on top and enjoy!
Put It All Together!
Using the kettle chips as a base, pour some cheese sauce on it and then sprinkle the corned beef on it! Super easy and super tasty!
Looking back on it, I would definitely use a bowl instead of a plate. The sauce was runnier than I expected and definitely got everywhere. Still, while it doesn’t look nearly as pretty as the EPCOT version, the taste was pretty on point. The beer cheese in particularly REALLY brought out the flavor I was going for. I ended up using a fork as well to try and cut down on the mess – it wasn’t SUPER successful though!
If you don’t want to use the chips you can try bread or soft pretzels as an alternative.
I hope you enjoyed my smoked corned beef food and wine festival copycat recipe! Let me know what you think of it in the comments below!
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