I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because it’s Friday and let’s be honest, we all want to just finish work and never look at a computer screen again.
Last weekend a group of friends gathered in a back garden with beer, wine, a spread of all-fat-no-diet-forget-about-that-bikini food, all in the name of 4th July y’all (and yes, us Brits do know who the Americans gained independence from, but you know, food). It was epic.
We devoured reaaaally slow cooked pulled pork sandwiched in brioche buns, coleslaw, devilled eggs, loaded potato skins, hot sauce chicken wings, corn on the cob and macaroni cheese, my one true love.
According to me, macaroni cheese should be loaded with cheese, contain garlic, be baked and let’s face it, it should be bad for you. No short cuts, no low-fat nothing. The badder the better I say.
Classic Mac and Cheese
Serves 10-12 as a side, 6 as a main or just one person with a really bad hangover.
1.2 litres whole milk
2 bay leaves
1 white onion
120g unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
60g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
250g mature chedder cheese
250g Manchego cheese
175g Goat Gouda cheese
50g Parmesan cheese
70g Panko breadcrumbs
Cook the macaroni in generously salted water until al dente. Drain and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside in a large oven-proof dish.
To make the béchamel sauce start by heating the milk with the onion and bay leaves until scalding. Strain into a large jug and set aside.
Next melt the butter with the minced garlic then start to add the flour a little at a time mixing with a wooden spoon until it’s entirely incorporated and you have a smooth paste (roux). Begin to pour the hot milk into the roux around 30ml at a time while stirring continuously. Once you’ve added half of the milk switch to a balloon whisk and continue to add in small amounts until you have a deliciously smooth béchamel sauce.
Remove from the heat and add the ground nutmeg, a few grinds of black pepper and all of the cheese. It will be ridiculous.
Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and mix to coat evenly.
Sprinkle over the Panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan and bake in the centre of an oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top. OH YEAH.