Candied Bacon Mac and Cheese
Mastering the art of making a roux, which will become the base of all cheese sauces, soufflés or even chocolate éclairs.
- Serves: 4-6 |
- Difficulty: easy
- Prep Time : 45 mins |
- Cook Time : 45 mins
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp (30 ml) brown sugar
250 g streaky bacon
150 g butter
150 g cake flour
5 cups (1.25 litres) milk
100 g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
80 g Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
400 g elbow macaroni, cooked according to packet instructions
60 g butter
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 cup (250 ml) fresh breadcrumbs
Handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
In a small bowl, mix the cayenne pepper and brown sugar together. Add the bacon and toss to coat.
Separate the bacon rashers, arrange onto a foil-lined baking tray and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is sticky, crisp and golden in colour.
Remove from the oven, chop roughly and set aside.
Place the butter in a large saucepan and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to form a roux. Continue to stir for about 2 minutes to ensure that the raw flour is cooked out.
Gradually whisk in the milk, a cup at a time, until the sauce is smooth and free of lumps. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Add all the cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the pasta, candied bacon and three-quarters of the cheese sauce.
Pour into individual ovenproof serving bowls or into one large casserole dish and set aside.
Melt the butter in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic. Add the breadcrumbs and toast until light golden brown in colour. Remove the pan from the heat, add the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Top each portion (or casserole dish) with the remaining cheese sauce and scatter over a tablespoon or two of breadcrumb topping.
Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until the macaroni cheese is golden brown and bubbling.
Serve immediately with a fresh green salad.