I recently stumbled upon a recipe for baked mac & cheese over at Not Exactly Bento
With kind permission from Jenn at NEB, I’m sharing my version of this amazing recipe with you!
This dish will serve 4 to 6 people as a side dish (or if your family are hungry hippos like mine, it will probably serve 3 to 4 on its own)
2 cups of macaroni (Nothing fancy, I used Sainsburys Own Brand)
250g mature cheddar cheese
1 Stick of butter, this measures out as a quarter pound in UK measurements ( For me this made the recipe a little too oily when cooked so I would recommend that you cut the butter back to approx half of this, however feel free to stay with the original recipe)
three quarters a cup of milk ( I used semi skimmed cos that’s what I have in my fridge)
8 Rashers of streaky bacon ( Sounds a lot, but bear in mind this dish will feed 4 people, so that’s 2 rashers per person)
Take a glass baking dish and grease thoroughly ( I used the wrapper from the butter)
Your dish needs to be large enough to hold 2 layers of pasta and cheese (My dish is a square pyrex measuring 25 cms x 25 cms)
Turn on oven to 180 degrees celcius or 350 degress farenheit or gas mark 4 if you are so inclined
To a pot of boiling water add a pinch or two of salt and throw in the macaroni
While the macaroni is cooking and the oven is heating, snip up the rashers of bacon into a frying pan and cook until cripsy. Transfer to a plate with kitchen roll to drain off excess fat.
Grate the whole block of cheese (yeah you heard me, the whole block!)
Drain the macaroni really well
Place a layer of macaroni into the bottom of the baking dish, cover the botom of the dish well, you don’t want a skimpy bottom layer!
Sprinkle over half the bacon
Place about half the butter in dots over the pasta and bacon layer
Cover the bacon and pasta with cheese ( this will use half the cheese)
Repeat with remaining macaroni, bacon and butter
Pour the milk over the dish
Add the last layer of cheese
The milk will cook down into the milk and butter to create a sauce for the macaroni noodles
Place the dish into the preheated oven for approx 30 minutes or until all the layers are bubbling nicely
Just before bringing out ouf the oven, pop the grill on so you can give the top of the mac and cheese some extra crispy love. 3 or 4 minutes under the grill should do the trick.
Now the dish is only cooked and will be like molten lava, so obviously you need to let everything settle before you can eat it. This will also help the flavours develop.
So when the dish has rested, go ahead and scoop out a portion for yourself.
Take a forkful and tell me that isn’t the best mac and cheese ever!