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February 25, 2017 / mintcustard

Mac and cheese – ideal with pulled pork.

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Mac and cheese – fresh from the oven.

Pulled pork is delicious, we all know that. However sometimes the side dishes that accompany a serving of pulled pork are just as unctuous but often get overlooked. Soft white buns, crispy coleslaw and king of the comfort food dish, baked macaroni and cheese.

I still can’t get over the fact that in some establishments mac and cheese is listed on the menu  as a vegetable but whatever, this is a dish that soothes the soul. Simply put, it is an American classic.

I make my macaroni and cheese mostly on the stove top and then bake in the oven to really crisp up the top. The key to a deep rich flavour is  using more than one cheese in the sauce. This dish is a great way to use up odds and ends of cheese although you can equally go out to buy special cheeses especially for this dish too.

Ingredients – Mac and cheese (serves 2 greedy people, 3 to 4 as a side)

200g macaroni elbows

35g butter

25g plain flour

450ml milk

100g grated cheese

25g grated parmesan

salt and pepper to taste.

How to – Mac and cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 180c and butter a medium sized gratin dish.
  • Cook the macaroni about 2 minutes less than the packet says and rinse to remove some of the starch. This will prevent the pasta clumping into lumps and allows the sauce to coverall of the pasta pieces.
  • In a pan melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook out the flour for a minute and then turn the heat down and whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and keep whisking until the sauce thickens.
  • Take to one side and stir in the grated cheese and parmesan. I like to use gruyere and cheddar as the combination of nutty and sharp works well with the softness of the pasta and sauce.
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Mac and cheese before baking.

  • Combine the sauce with the pasta. Pop into the buttered gratin dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  • You can pimp a Mac and cheese in a million different ways. Breadcrumbs, gremolata or even a crushed up bag of cheese and onion crisps on top to give crunch. You can add truffle oil, slices of tomato or simply another handful of cheese on top. Blue cheese, goats cheese or bocconcini poked into the pasta works as do pieces of chorizo or N’duja. Make it your own way but make it you must.
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Mac and cheese, pulled pork and sweet potato fries. Delicious.

 

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