Since we're not quite done with the blustery, bone-chilling portion of winter just yet, one of the things you can look forward to on the dinner table is a delicious bowl of mac and cheese. Whenever I make my mac and cheese at home, I start out with a big portion of a simple cheddar cheese sauce and get creative from there. It's really easy to add-in different ingredients to appeal to everyone's tastes around the table.
Try tossing in some roasted broccoli or cauliflower, sliced ham sausage, pancetta or even puréed root vegetables (sh...the kids will never know!).
Cheddar cheese sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 litre homogenized milk (room temperature)
2 1/2 cups shredded old medium cheddar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt (to taste)
Mac and cheese:
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 bunch green onions (ends trimmed and roughly chopped)
2 cups braised pork shoulder meat (roughly chopped)
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
6 cups cooked pasta (cavatappi is type pictured above, but any smaller pasta like macaroni (obviously) or penne works)
cheddar cheese sauce (use as much as desired)
Melt butter in a medium pot on medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk until a paste forms. Let cook for a few minutes until the paste becomes fragrant and changes colour slightly.
Add milk in 1 cup at a time, stirring regularly. Each time the mixture thickens noticeably, add another cup and repeat until all milk has been added. The mixture should be glossy and viscous, but not too thick (add more milk if it is).
Stir in the shredded cheese and spices until incorporated. Season to taste with salt, cover, reduce to low heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
Mac and cheese:
Heat canola oil in a large, deep pan on medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Next, add scallions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes and then add in the braised and sambal oelek.
Once the meat has heated through, add-in cooked pasta as well as desired amount of sauce. Use a large spoon to mix until everything is evenly coated.
Portion out into four bowls and revel in your cheesy, comforting dinner.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes