Macaroni Cheese

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Macaroni CheeseI would classify Macaroni Cheese as one of the great comfort dishes of childhood.  It’s also one of those dishes that requires you to prepare all the ingredients beforehand. In that way, you can concentrate on ensuring that the macaroni is cooked properly, and that you are always at the stove to make a good cheese sauce.

You may have to use extra dishes for this recipe, but it’s well worth it because its a doddle if you get everything together – but a nightmare if you don’t!  Macaroni cheese is so comforting and soothing and so far this is the best recipe that I have for making it.

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni Cheese
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 175gm strong mature cheddar - grated
  • 50gm Gruyere - grated
  • 50gm Parmesan - grated
  • 50gm white (or brown) bread with crusts cut off
  • 280g macaroni
  • 700ml full-fat milk plus a little extra OR 600ml semi-skimmed milk plus 100ml single cream
  • 50gm butter
  • 50gm flour
  • 1 small teaspoon mustard powder
  • Salt and pepper
Method
  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6.
  2. Finely grate all the cheeses but keeping them in separate bowls.
  3. Tear the bread into pieces and whizz in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
  4. Mix 25gm of the cheddar and one third of the Parmesan with the breadcrumbs.
  5. Pour your milk into a microwave bowl (keep the cream separate if you are using it).
  6. Microwave the milk until lukewarm (or heat up in a pan).
  7. Make the macaroni as per the instructions on the packet.
  8. When cooked, tip into a colander and put it under very hot tap water to keep the macaroni pieces separate. Then set to one side.
  9. Whilst the macaroni is cooking (ie 7 and 8 above) start making the sauce.
  10. In a pan big enough to hold all the ingredients including the sauce and macaroni, heat the butter gently.
  11. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
  12. Take off the heat and add one third of the warm milk and beat until smooth with a wooden spoon. Then add another third and again beat until smooth. Finally add the last third and again beat until smooth. It may go slightly lumpy when you are doing this but keep beating the sauce and the lumps will soon disappear.
  13. Put the pan back in the heat and cook stirring until smooth.
  14. Lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes stirring now and then.
  15. Take off the heat and stir in the cream (if you are using it), the mustard powder and the cheeses. You may want to add more milk to give a smooth consistency.
  16. Taste and season.
  17. Now add the macaroni and stir everything together. You should have a slack coating of sauce clinging to the macaroni.
  18. Tip the macaroni cheese into a dish and cover with the cheesy crumbs.
  19. Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes until bubbly (you may want to place a square piece of foil loosely over the dish to stop the top burning.
  20. Place the cooked macaroni cheese under the grill and cook until browned and crunchy for about 5 minutes.

 

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