Recipe: Homemade Smoked Bacon Mac & Cheese

In the last week alone we’ve had sun, snow, sleet and storms. Assonance aside, it hasn’t been fun.

So comfort food is in order I think, despite the alleged Spring season.  I’ve been meaning to try this stalwart of US menus for years, ever since a good friend (hailing from Indiana) first laughed at my incredulous face as she showed me the pre-packed, boxed stuff.  Powdered cheese, for heaven’s sake.

I reckoned it couldn’t be that hard to cook myself and lo and behold, some ten years later, I got around to putting that theory to the test.

And it really is super easy, the only hard part will be getting your hands on rigatoni pasta!

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butterMac and Chedese
  • 2 tsp dijonnaise
  • 1-2  finely chopped garlic clove(s)
  • 500ml milk
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of flour
  • 8 smoked rashers / smoked streaky bacon / 1 cup smoked lardons
  • 250g + 25g grated cheddar
  • 350g rigatoni (any pasta really will do, although I found mine in Superquinn)

Instructions

1.      Pre-heat the oven to about 180c.

2.      Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

3.      Fry / grill the bacon and set aside

4.      Melt the butter in a pan.

5.      Add the garlic and dijonnaise and stir for one minute.

6.      In a cup, mix the flour with a little milk until you have a smooth paste.

7.      Pour all the milk into the pan, gradually mixing in the flour mixture, whiskingregularly until it’s brought to a boil.

8.     Reduce heat and allow the sauce to thicken for a couple of minutes.

9.      Adding the cheese and bacon and stir until melted.

10. Empty the drained pasta into the pan with the sauce and mix well.

11. Ladle portions into bowls / ramekins / cups (we used big fat Ikea cups here!)

12. Mix 25g of cheese with the breadcrumbs and season well.  Sprinkle this mixture on top of each portion and pop into the oven for about 15 minutes, until the breadcrumbs have turned golden.

13. Serve with garlic bread, a blanket and a good movie.

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