Bacon & Mushroom Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni Cheese is definitely one of my favourite comfort foods and a special treat in our house considering how expensive cheese is these days and how it’s not really the healthiest meal in the world. I was surprised to find out that while I had always know Mac n Cheese to be baked in the oven after the cheese sauce has been stirred through the noodles, most Americans firstly make this stuff from a box mix and it is just cooked on the stove which means they never get the flavour and crunch from grilling the cheese sprinkled on top. I also find that baking it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 dries it out for too much and prefer to just grill it  for 5 minutes to melt and brown the cheese.

I know many of you have your own special way of making this dish and I love Alida Ryder’s take on it with her Beer and Bacon Macaroni Cheese, my preferred way of making it is so simple it doesn’t even qualify to be called a recipe.

Firstly, I want to introduce you to making cheese sauce in the microwave and shock, horror, gasp, I do it without butter. I do it like this:

600ml heated to just below boiling point in a large jug (1l jug is fine)

2 generous tablespoons maizena (corn flour)

250ml grated cheddar cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

When milk is hot, place corn flour in a small dish and add about 100ml of the heated milk. Stir well to get rid of all lumps. Put 100ml of milk and cornflour mix back into the jug and stir well. Return to the microwave and cook at 100% power for about 4 minutes stirring well half way through the cooking time. Watch this carefully because it makes an awful mess if it is allowed to boil over. Once the mixture is nice and thick, add your grated cheese and stir until it is melted in. Season with salt and a good grind of black pepper and set aside.

While you are cooking your macaroni/noodle of choice to al dente according to the packet instructions, melt some butter in a separate pan. Fry bacon bits until brown and crispy then add sliced mushrooms. Fry well and add 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Once this is well cooked and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 240/grill. Drain your pasta saving about 1 cup of the cooking water. Return pasta to the pot and add bacon and mushroom bits. Pour over cheese sauce and stir through well. If the sauce seems a bit thick, add about half the cooking water you have set aside to thin it out a bit. Once the oven in ready, scatter over a further 125ml grated cheese and put in the oven. Watch carefully until cheese melts and starts turning brown. Remove from oven and serve.

In summary, the list of ingredients for Bacon & Mushroom Mac n Cheese:

500g macaroni/any short noodles

600ml milk heated to just below boiling point in a large jug (1l jug is fine)

2 generous tablespoons maizena (corn flour)

250ml grated cheddar cheese

Salt & pepper to taste

250g bacon bits

250g button mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

125ml grated cheddar cheese for topping. This can also be mixed with 125ml freshly ground breadcrumbs for added crunch

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7 thoughts on “Bacon & Mushroom Macaroni Cheese

  1. I love your way of making cheese sauce. that stirring and making roux with butter and flour always leave me with loads of lumps. Going to give your method a try next time I make mac and cheese.

    • Thank you for the comment lovely lady. I hope you will let me know how it turns out. This is the way that works for me and I hope you will find it easier than making a roux with flour and butter :)

    • Yes, this is definately a meal for growning boys. My son is only 7 and already he is always hungry. I actually don’t know how people who don’t cook survive raising boys with their finances intact. If I didn’t keep crunchies and muffins always on the go in the house I would be in serious trouble xx

    • Thank you for your lovely comment dear Zirkie. I’m not sure if anyone else makes it this way but it works for me. Mmm…whether it is less fattening I don’t know…you haven’t seen how much cheese I put into the sauce ;)

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