Macaroni Cheese with Bacon

This macaroni cheese is ideal for a filling snack or for a supper served with a salad. The bacon really adds some additional flavour to the sauce and it has a crunchy, cheesy breadcrumb topping.

Macaroni Cheese with Bacon

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 225 g (8 oz) macaroni
  • 110 g (4 oz) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 850 ml (1½ pints) milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 70 g (2½ oz) butter
  • 70 g (2½ oz) flour
  • 6 slices smoked streaky bacon/side bacon
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • pepper

Equipment

  • A 2 litre (3½ pint) ovenproof dish


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

  • Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 minute less than recommended on the packet of the brand you are using. Drain and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, pour the milk into a pan and add the bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat.

  • In a separate pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until there is a smooth paste (a roux).

  • Remove the bay leaves from the milk, then gradually add the milk to the roux, stirring constantly, until blended and smooth. Simmer to thicken to a double/whipping cream consistency. Remove from the heat.

  • Grill the bacon until just crispy. Let it cool a little then cut into small pieces.

  • Stir the pasta, bacon, cheddar and mustard into the sauce and add the pepper.

  • Spoon into the ovenproof dish. No need to smooth the top.

  • Toss the breadcrumbs and Parmesan together. Scatter over the top, completely covering the macaroni cheese mixture. Bake for 40 minutes until the top starts to brown.
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