The Best Mac 'n' Cheese
Delicious, gooey macaroni cheese is hard to beat. The ultimate childhood classic and perfect comfort food, it's ideal for a night in front of the tv.
We tried it out as a topping on the other ultimate comfort food - pizza - for a proper cheesy hug of a meal. Washed down with a cold beer. What's not to love about that?
- 250g macaroni
- 50g butter
- 50g plain flour
- 600ml whole milk
- 300g grated strong cheese*
- 500g smoked pancetta or lardons**
- salt & pepper
- Fry the pancetta or lardons in a large saucepan for 5 minutes until cooked, then set aside.
- In the same saucepan used to cook the lardons, melt the butter over a medium heat (any juices remaining from the lardons will add more flavour).
- Add the flour and whisk constantly for about a minute to cook off the flour.
- Gradually pour in the milk while whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer over a low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Add two-thirds of the grated cheese to the sauce, stirring constantly to make a smooth thick consistency. The smell will be intense and full of flavour.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add the macaroni and cook according to the package instructions until al dente.
- Drain the macaroni and add to the sauce. Stir well to coat the pasta evenly.
- Don’t forget the pancetta. Stir it through the macaroni cheese for an amazing flavour hit.
- Make sure to taste and season to your liking.
- Serve the macaroni cheese straight form the pot, or transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle some extra cheese on top, and grill for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
- Serve it hot and enjoy!
* We love a mix of cheddar and parmesan. Other options include Gruyere which melts like Cheddar, but has a lovely nutty flavour. Gouda, Parmesan, Fontina, Havarti and Monterey Jack also work well. Or try some Brie; just make sure you remove the rind before mixing it in.
For this recipe, we sourced the cheese from a local Cheesemonger in Bushmills, Mini Maegden, and used the following selection:
** Swap meat for diced tomatoes, sautéed onions or any other ingredients for additional flavour and texture.
Freeze individual portions in Babadoh containers for a quick and easy evening ahead.