Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

In my opinion, macaroni and cheese is the perfect barbecue side dish. Only bacon could make it even better.


1 lb. elbow macaroni 
1 quart whole milk
12 oz. applewood smoked bacon, chopped into 1 in. pieces
8 oz. gruyere, grated
12 oz. sharp cheddar, grated 
4 + 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for coating the pan
5 tbsp. all purpose flour 
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
Kosher salt
Black pepper 


Preheat oven to 375°. Butter 3 quart baking dish. 

In large pan, cook bacon over medium low heat until slightly crispy, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate with paper towels to drain, reserving bacon fat. Set aside bacon. 

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling add macaroni. Cook for 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Drain pasta and toss with 1 tbsp. butter. Set aside. 

In small bowl mix bread crumbs, parmesan, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper for topping. Set aside. 

Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, heat milk over medium high heat and scald. Do not let milk come to a boil. 

While milk is heating, in a large sauce pot, melt 4 tbsp. butter with 1 tbsp. bacon over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and cook for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. The sauce should be smooth and thick. Take off heat and stir in cheddar, gruyere, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When cheeses are melted stir in bacon to combine. Stir in macaroni and toss to combine. Pour mixture into bacon dish and sprinkle topping over the macaroni mixture. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until light brown and bubbly. 

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