Caramelized Onions, cheese, pasta, beer... what's not to love?
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to the instructions, cooking it only until it is al dente.
In the meantime, heat 1 ounce of the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and reduce the heat to low. Let cook until the onions have caramelized, about 30 to 45 minutes. Be sure to keep the heat low to keep the onions from burning. Only stir if necessary. Add the garlic and cook another five minutes, until the garlic softens. Add the beer to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high to bring the liquid to a boil. Cook until the beer has reduced by three-quarters, and it has thickened.
Return the heat to low and add another 1 ounce of butter and the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to cook the flour .Add the milk, cream, and bay leaf. Stir or whisk until the flour and butter is completely dissolved. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cheese, small handfuls at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is completely melted. Keep the low heat during this stage. Add the nutmeg, and the salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf. Once all the cheese is melted and added, add the drained pasta and mix in well. Pour the mac & cheese into small casseroles or pie dishes. In the meantime, melt the remaining 1 ounce butter. Mix it with the bread crumbs and sprinkle it over the top of the mac & cheese. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the top golden brown, about 30 minutes.