The Ultimate Mac and Cheese Recipe – Clement Pedro
In the first of our What’s Cooking? series, we collaborate with TV chef and food stylist Clement Pedro for a mouthwatering mac and cheese (with bacon of course!) recipe. The Afternoon Express foodie guides us through a smokey, creamy and cheesy favourite, which is the ultimate comfort food. This affordable, tasty dish is perfect for mid-week dinners or family gatherings, so get cooking!
- 70g butter
- 2 packets of Woody’s Shoulder or Back Bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 10g flour
- 750ml milk
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- 80g – 100g blue cheese, crumbled
- 5ml nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 500g cooked pasta of your choice (macaroni, penne, or rigatoni)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 250g breadcrumbs
- 40g roughly chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 180C. Heat 10g of butter over medium heat along with the bacon, cooking to a golden crisp.
- Remove the bacon, add the remaining butter to the same pot or pan. Add the onions to slowly cook and caramelise.
- Once the onions are golden in colour add the flour and begin mixing to cook out the flouriness, this should take about 2 minutes.
- Slowly begin adding the milk, pouring in about 1 cup at a time and mixing until the mixture starts to thicken before adding the next cup.
- Once all the milk has been added, start incorporating the cheese, again adding it gradually to prevent it clumping up and causing a lumpy sauce.
- Continue mixing in the cheese until smooth sauce forms, add the nutmeg and taste if extra seasoning is needed. Add 3/4 of the bacon to the sauce and mix through along with the cooked pasta. Add the mixture to a large dish or individual dishes before placing in the oven to cook for about 25-30 minutes or until golden and brown on top
- To prepare the bacon and breadcrumb topping: heat the butter in a pan over medium heat before adding the garlic and cooking for a minute or until golden and almost crisp. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until toasted before adding the bacon and tossing through with the parsley.