Tasty Thursday

Is there anything better than cheese? This recipe for mac 'n' cheese is a fantastic version of the all-time classic and is from one of our newest releases, Cheese: Exploring Taste and Tradition by Patricia Michelson with a foreword by Jamie Oliver.

Mac 'n' Cheese
1 lb macaroni or elbow-shape pasta
4 tbsp unsalted butter, beef dripping or bacon fat, plus extra as required
4 tbsp flour
2 pints full-fat milk, warmed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tsp dry English mustard
1 lb strong Farmhouse Cheddar such as Shelbourne, Lincolnshire Poacher or a mixture of Parmesan and Cheddar, grated
Dry breadcrumbs (1–2 day-old bread, dried—not toasted), tossed in a little melted butter, for sprinkling
Rashers of streaky bacon, grilled until crisp, to serve (optional)

1. Cook the macaroni until al dente, drain, toss in a little butter and place in a casserole dish. To make a roux, melt the butter over a medium heat. Turn down the heat slightly and add the flour then cook, stirring continuously, for 2 minutes until the rawness of the flour is cooked out but on no account allowed to brown.

2. Off the heat, pour a little of the milk into the roux and mix to a creamy consistency. Place the pan back on the heat, and in a steady stream pour in the rest of the milk, stirring to make a lovely thick sauce (you may not need to use all of the milk).

3. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, mustard and grated cheese, mix well, and return to the stove and heat, stirring continuously, until the cheese has melted. Pour the sauce over the macaroni in the casserole, and stir to ensure the pasta is coated.

4. Sprinkle the top with the buttery breadcrumbs, and bake in an oven preheated to 400°F for 15 minutes. Serve topped with rashers of crisp streaky bacon, if liked.

Makes 4 servings

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