I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but my mac and cheese has become the dish of legend! I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked for my mac and cheese recipe over the years. Well, here it is! This is definitely the best mac and cheese recipe that I‘ve created. I made it for a three-course mac and cheese party that I held for my girlfriends and this one was definitely the favourite! If you want to know how to make the best mac and cheese then read on…
Ingredients (please note these ingredients are for 1x 31cm baking or roasting tin, I use Falconware but any baking tray will do). You can purchase my recommended products directly through the links (and I receive a few coins).
- Two heaped tablespoons plain flour
- Tablespoon of butter
- 500ml of whole milk (or semi-skimmed)
- 500gm pack of spirali or cavatappi
- 200gm of cheddar, grated
- 200gm of red Leicester, grated
- 100-150gm of Jarlsberg/Comte/Edam – any other good, nutty, melting cheese, grated
- A ball of mozzarella (for the top of the mac)
- ½ a ring of chorizo, chopped into small pieces
- 6 rashers of bacon (preferably smoked and streaky), grilled and then chopped into lardons
- A cup of breadcrumbs (store bought is fine, Waitrose makes good ones)
- ½ tablespoon of paprika
- 2 tablespoons of Sriracha
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 – 4 fresh chillies, finely chopped, seeds intact (I use a mix of Aji and Jalapeno)
- Heat the oven to 180c
- To your milk, add the sriracha, garlic, paprika, chillies and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a measuring jug. This allows the flavours to infuse.
- Get your baking dish and grease it with butter or oil and set aside
- In a large pan or wok, fry off the chorizo until it starts to look slightly golden and releases its oils. Decant into a bowl and set aside (do not chuck out the oil, it’s full of flavour and colour!)
- Boil a pot of water and salt it well. Cook the spirali or cavatappi until it’s underdone, it should be quite al dente if it’s to hold up through 2 more cooking processes (about 6-7 minutes). Drain but do not rinse, you need the starch to make the sauce stick.
- Make the roux – in the same pan you cooked the chorizo in, on medium heat, melt the butter. When melted add in the flour and whisk until combined. I don’t bother with browning my roux, too much faff.
- When combined, slowly start to add the milk in, whisking constantly until combined and smooth with no lumps. This will take about 10-15 minutes depending on your pan/hob/ambient temperature. Not kidding.
- When smooth, start to add in your cheese, a handful at a time, whisking until melted and combined. Don’t have the heat too high, you will scorch the béchamel. Whisking in the cheese is quite onerous but don’t rush it. 10-15 minutes is quite normal.
- When the cheese is combined your béchamel should be thick and have a satisfying gloopy quality.
- Add the bacon and cheese into the béchamel and stir well (a spatula is good for this)
- Add the pasta gradually into the béchamel and stir gently with the spatula until coated.
- You’re done! Decant into your baking dish, don’t worry about lumps and bumps too much as that’s where there will be more crunchy bits.
- Top with the mozzarella ball, shredded into little bits.
- Top with the breadcrumbs.
- Brucie’s Bonus – If you’re greedy like me, crush some Doritos up finely and scatter them over the top for extra cheesy crunch.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes on a middle shelf of the oven until bubbling and golden. ENJOY!
There you have it, my best ever mac and cheese recipe! I hope you try it and love it as much as my friends and I do. Leave a comment below to let me know what you think of the recipe! I’ll be posting other variations of mac and cheese in the coming weeks!
Tiffany from G&J xx