Spicy Smokey Bacon Mac and Cheese

Smokey Bacon Mac and Cheese

Photography – Andy Arnfield

From being a child one of my favourite dishes was mac and cheese, now all grown up and sporting a wider pallet, adding yummy ingredients like gourmet cheese and chilli just comes naturally. I have just been on a fantastic BBQ course and had a juicy, smokey rack of pork ribs cooking, I needed something delicious to accompany so what better than Spicy Smokey Bacon, Mac and Cheese. Delicious ! Enjoy!

SERVES 4

½ tsp sea salt + more for pasta water
250g smoked bacon, uncooked
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paste
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
100g extra sharp cheddar, grated
100g smoked provolone cheese, grated
100g asiago  cheese, grated
250g dry Macaroni
2 slices of day old bread
1 red chilli

Bring a covered pot filled with water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, add a handful of salt and pasta. Reduce heat to medium high and cook uncovered to al dente. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile warm a large 12” pan over medium-high heat. Cut bacon into bite size pieces and add them into the pan. Stir occasionally as needed. Cook until crisp. While the bacon is cooking, grate cheeses and prepare remaining ingredients. Once bacon is cooked through, remove bacon onto kitchen towel with a slotted spoon to drain. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat and discard the rest. Add butter. Once melted add flour and whisk to combine to make a roux Add spices, chili paste, Worcestershire, chicken broth. Whisk to combine. Allow to come to a bubble for 3 minutes until thickened. Add milk. Whisk to combine. Bring back to a bubble and add cheeses. Stir until cheese is melted and smooth.

Add pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Add bacon. Cook pasta in sauce for 5 minutes over medium heat until sauce thickens and the pasta has a chance to absorb some of the sauce.

In a blender blitz bread into fine bread crumbs. Toast in a frying pan until crispy and sprinkle over the macaroni. Garnish with sliced red chilli

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