As I’ve recently been on a lighter diet, I found this ultimate comfort food very rich and filling. It’s not for faint hearted or those even contemplating on a low calorie meal. This would have to be for your cheat day, I didn’t even bother counting the calories (= ignorance is bliss sometimes). This recipe makes a big batch, for those who have read my posts before know that for certain type of food I like making a big amount at one go. This recipe will probably serve about 10 people. This is a more luxurious version of a standard, simple mac and cheese. During baking the smell is indicating it might be very cheesy, however, surprisingly it actually isn’t.
500g uncooked macaroni
200g bacon lardons
2 medium onions, finely chopped
100g butter (+ a small piece to butter the oven dish)
100g plain flour
1tsp Dijon Mustard
1.2 litres full fat milk
100ml double cream
2 bay leaves
1tsp ground nutmeg
1tbsp ground black pepper
400g extra mature cheddar cheese
75g light breadcrumbs
80g grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook the macaroni to be al dente (still with a little bite to it), and drain well.
2. Melt the butter in a large pan, on a low heat. Add the flour, and mix together. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, then add the mustard. Remove from the heat, and little by little, add milk, whisking the mixture together. Add the cream and bay leaves.
3. Heat the mixture, stirring regularly. I use this period for grating the cheese, however you have to remember to keep an eye on the mixture, and stir or whisk it occasionally. Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat, and remove the bay leaves.
4. Add the cheddar cheese, and mix until melted. Then add the nutmeg and black pepper, and mix. Also add the cooked macaroni and mix together.
5. Fry the finely chopped onions and bacon in a frying pan, and mix into the macaroni and cheese.
6. Heat the oven to 180°C / 355°F (fan). Smear your oven dish with a little butter, and put the mac and cheese mixture into the dish.
7. Mix the breadcrumb and Parmesan cheese together, and coat the mac and cheese with the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.