Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Every has a comfort food; a food that you go to when you’ve had a bad day, the meal your mum makes when you go home, or even just what you make when it’s a cold and miserable day. For me, it’s got to be mac ‘n’ cheese – particularly my mum’s recipe. I can’t get enough of it!

I mentioned to my flatmate I would cook it for her, and then another friend got involved, and I figure why not share it with all of you lovely people?

For this astoundingly simple and tasty recipe you’ll need:
Fair warning – since this is a family recipe all quantities are a “bit” or an “amount” but trust me you’ll know it when you’re cooking it!

  • Pasta of your choice
  • Butter (a chunk of – I think about 50g)
  • Flour (a handful)
  • A teaspoon of mustard
  • A crack of black pepper
  • 3 cheeses of your choice – I use cheddar, compté or gruyère and parmesan
  • Lots of milk
  • Pancetta or lardons (I use lardons ’cause I’m lazy!)
Put your pasta on to cook in lightly salted water. Just leave it to do it’s thing until it’s cooked. Meanwhile you can get on with your cheese sauce. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
The only difficult thing about this recipe is making the white sauce, but if you know how to do that it really is so simple! 

 Start by melting your butter until there are no lumps left in it. Then quickly pop in your handful of flour – better to start with too little than too much otherwise you’ll have to very quickly melt some more butter!

Then mix like there’s no tomorrow. You should eventually have a ball of a dough-like substance. When you reach this stage start pouring in your milk.
Add this little by little until all the dough has dissolved and you’re happy with the consistency. I like my mac ‘n’ cheese nice and thick so I leave my white sauce to simmer a little. 
Whilst it’s simmering or your adding your milk, add the teaspoon of mustard and a good crack of black pepper. I use grainy mustard mainly because I like the look of it when it’s mixed in with the pasta, but if you’re a loyal smooth mustard user then go ahead!
To turn this from a white sauce into a cheese sauce all you have to do is grate your cheese into the sauce and let it melt and turn into a wonderfully gooey cheesey sauce of epic yumminess! At this point I only used the compté and the cheddar and left the parmesan for grating on the top. 
Once this is done, fry your pancetta or lardons until they’re nice and crispy, then add them to the cheese sauce. 
Drain your pasta and pop it back into the pan. Then, pour your gorgeous sauce all over it and mix well. Depending on how you like your sauce, your pasta will either be just covered or will be drowning in sauce – it’s totally up to you!
Pour your mac ‘n’ cheese into a baking dish – I used my trusty Le Creuset dish. Grate some more cheese over the top – as much as you like – and then put the dish on the middle shelf of the oven for about 20/25 minutes.
You wouldn’t think that this was the most controversial bit about this recipe but it really is… Are you a crunchy mac ‘n’ cheese eater or a smooth kind of person? Personally, I think it’s all about the smooth, but my flatmate and my dad always disagree with me. Makes it easy to serve though – all the crunchy portions to my guests!

Mmmmmm comfort food – perfect for a cold winters evening!
And what did we have for pudding? Red velvet brownies, of course!

You Might Also Like...